A petition for interlocutory appeal filed April 2, 2018, presents the issue of how much medical providers may charge for records. Melita Hamilton has a personal injury lawsuit in Jasper County Circuit Court. When she requested her medical records from Newsouth Neurospine, LLC, it charged her $201.65. There was a $166.50 charge for creating copies (100 pages x $1.00 + 133 pages x $.50), a $25.00 charge for execution of a medical records affidavit, and a ten percent charge of $19.15 for shipping. Hamilton’s attorney paid for the records and then filed a motion for sanctions against medical providers. The court ruled that the charge under 45 CFR 164.524(c)(4) should have been $50.80 – ten cents per page, $20.00 for labor, and $7.80 for postage and ordered Newsouth to reimburse the plaintiff $159.00. The court did not assess attorneys fees in view of the fact that this was the first time the issue had arisen at least as far as Newsouth Neurospine was concerned. Newsouth has filed a petition for permission to appeal the interlocutory order.
Here’s Newsouth Neurospine’s petition. It was just filed and the Court has not ruled on whether to accept the petition or not.
Mississippi has a statute on charges for photocopying medical records. MCA Sect. 11-1-52(1) states as follows:
(1) Any medical provider or hospital or nursing home or other medical facility shall charge no more than the following amounts to patients or their representatives for photocopying any patient’s records: Twenty Dollars ($ 20.00) for pages one (1) through twenty (20); One Dollar ($ 1.00) per page for the next eighty (80) pages; Fifty Cents (50 cent(s) ) per page for all pages thereafter. Ten percent (10%) of the total charge may be added for postage and handling. Fifteen Dollars ($ 15.00) may be recovered by the medical provider or hospital or nursing home or other medical facility for retrieving medical records in archives at a location off the premises where the facility/office is located.
The court applied HIPAA’s provision for medical record charges, 45 CFR 164.524(c)(4):
(4)Fees. If the individual requests a copy of the protected health information or agrees to a summary or explanation of such information, the covered entity may impose a reasonable, cost-based fee, provided that the fee includes only the cost of:
(i) Labor for copying the protected health information requested by the individual, whether in paper or electronic form;
(ii) Supplies for creating the paper copy or electronic media if the individual requests that the electronic copy be provided on portable media;
(iii) Postage, when the individual has requested the copy, or the summary or explanation, be mailed; and
(iv) Preparing an explanation or summary of the protected health information, if agreed to by the individual as required by paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section.