Q&A with Patricia Rogers
Legislature changes fees for obtaining medical records
Q: A recent bill signed by the governor establishes fees that a hospital, physician or other health care provider can charge for providing a patient with copies of medical records. Is this a change from existing law?
A: Yes. House Bill 2188 is an amendment to the current Oklahoma law that sets forth the fees a hospital, physician or “other medical institution” can charge for copies of medical records. Effective Nov. 1, health care providers can charge patients 50 cents a page for paper copies and $5 for a copy of an X-ray, photograph or image, or pathology slide. The new law also establishes fees for producing records in electronic or digital form. If a patient requests a copy of his or her records in electronic form and the health care provider maintains an electronic health record and can deliver records electronically, the health care provider must provide the records in electronic form and may charge 30 cents a page up to a maximum of $200 per request.
Q: Can a health care provider charge a patient for searching, retrieving or preparing the medical records?
A: No. Oklahoma law expressly prohibits a health care provider from charging these fees to a patient. However, a health care provider may charge a patient for the actual cost of mailing the copies (or a computer disk or other digital media). Fees cannot be charged for faxing medical records to patients.