Medical Records Copying Fees 2016

Physicians generally may charge for providing copies of patient medical records. However, the Pennsylvania Judicial Code and federal law limit the allowable charge and in some cases prohibit any charge. The lesser of the Judicial Code and federal limits applies when both are applicable. Health care providers are not required to charge for providing copies. Physicians often waive any charge that otherwise would be allowed, especially when providing a copy to the patient or another physician or health care provider for treatment purposes

The following charts show the maximum charges allowed by the Judicial Code for 2016. The Judicial Code limits do not apply to X-ray film or any other portion of a medical record that cannot be reproduced photostatically. Unless otherwise noted in the chart, for paper copies provided to a patient or the patient’s personal representative HIPAA only permits a reasonable cost-based fee for copying and postage. For electronic protected health information (PHI), upon request of a patient, federal law requires health care providers to provide an electronic copy to the patient and to transmit an electronic copy to a third party. The fee may not exceed the labor cost to copy and transmit the record.

*The chart does not address patient confidentiality considerations, including whether a HIPAA patient authorization is required.

General Rules
Source of request Copying (per page) Retrieval Postage, shipping, and delivery
Patient
Paper pages:
1-20 $1.46
21-60 $1.08
61+ $0.36
Microfilm $2.16
Prohibited by HIPM privacy rule Actual cost
Personal representative, such as parent of minor Same as limits for patients Prohibited by HIPM privacy rule Actual cost
Designee of patient, such as attorney with authorization Same as limits for patients $21.69 Actual cost

 

Special Purpose Requests
To support Copying Retrieval Postage, shipping, and delivery
Social Security claim or appeal $27.48 flat fee No additional charge permitted Actual cost
Federal or state needs-based benefit program $27.48 flat fee No additional charge permitted Actual cost
The physician may require the requester to provide documentation of the purpose of the request, such as an appolntrnent of representative form (SSA-1696-U4) when the patient’s attorney rnakes the request for a Social Security claim or appeal.

 

Third Party Requests
Souree of request Copying Retrieval Postage, shipping, and delivery
Subpoena (except as below) Same as limits for patients $21.69 No additional charge permitted
Subpoena from district attorney $21.69 No additional charge permitted No additional charge permitted
Commonwealth agency (executive or
independent),such as licensing board
Not permitted as general rule.
Allowed only if required by law or authorized by agency guidelines, statements of policy, or notice in Pennsylvania Bulletin.