Are You Paying Too Much For Your Medical Records?

Are you paying too much for your medical records? Are you getting the complete medical record? How does $6.50 sound for medical records? Well, this blog will hopefully assist you to pay less and get more.

First, thanks to the HITECH Act, there are limitations on what a facility can charge for medical records. There are a few things you need to know to take advantage of the changes. First, have your client sign HIPAA releases for their medical records which will be sent to your office. This is a PATIENT request for their own records and you are simply receiving the records. In your request (see below), you need to specifically ask for the medical records to be printed/exported/written to a disc or a thumb drive. You need to SPECIFICALLY say that you do NOT want paper copies. The law states that if you ask for the records on disc, they cannot charge per page; but only for the cost of the disc and labor. They cannot charge a “retrieval fee.” If you do ask for your records written to a disc and they charge per page or an outrageous fee, contact the Office of Civil Rights complaint portal (within 180 days). Their website is

Large medical record companies have been instructed to decrease their invoices from hundreds of dollars to $6.50.

The next thing is to craft your request very carefully so you get the records in the format you want and get the most complete records you can. Below are some sample terms and wording you can use in your medical record requests.

  1. Produce the complete medical record to include all versions of notes/data/entries with all original documentation visible and unobscured. The medical record is to include all amendments, additions, modifications, deletions, and soft deletes clearly visible.
    1. 21 C.F.R. Pt. 11, 11.10(e)
      ASTM Standard E2147-01 (industry standards)
  2. Produce all scanned and outside documents.
  3. Produce all hyperlinked documents/data.
  4. Produce the electronic medical record with all data requested above directly written/exported/printed to a disc or a thumb drive. We do NOT want paper copies. We do NOT want paper copies which were printed and then scanned back into the computer.

Next, of course, will be the audit trail request. That is an entire blog by itself. Look for that blog soon with great new information and strategies.

Please feel free to contact our offices for further information!

I want to give credit to Attorney Robert Reed of Virginia who generously shared some of his information.

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