Are You Compliant with Medical Record Copying Fees?

When disputes arise over medical record copy fees, it pays to know the rules!

Imagine this scenario: A patient from your office-based practice begins treating with a new provider, and the new provider requests a copy of the patient’s medical records. You are happy to provide your former patient’s medical records to the new practice, but can you charge a fee for the service? Under MD. CODE ANN., HEALTH-GEN. § 4-304, health care providers are generally permitted to charge a fee for copying medical records, subject to the parameters outlined below:

  • The current fee for copying paper records is not to exceed .76 cents per page plus the actual cost of postage and handling [1] Health care providers may also charge a preparation fee of $22.88 if the records are sent to another provider or a person other than the patient.
  • The fee for copying records in electronic format is 75% of the per-page fee (not to exceed $80), as well as the actual cost of postage and handling. Health care providers may charge a preparation fee of $22.88 if the records are sent to a provider or a person other than the patient.

Please pay close attention to the following caveats:

  • Most importantly, the original physician should not withhold records over a fee dispute if it will impact the patient’s care.
  • Governor Hogan has suspended fees for telehealth visits, audio and telephone calls during the emergency orders currently in place.
  • HIPAA regulations do not allow a preparation fee if the records are provided directly to the patient.
  • Also, if the patients are Medicaid recipients, no fees are permitted when transferring care to another provider.

Bottom Line: While Maryland law does permit one to charge a copying fee when copying a patient’s chart, there are many caveats which limit or preclude a copy fee altogether. Be sure to determine if any of the above caveats apply and always ensure that any copy dispute does not impact patient care. Any question on this, please feel free to ask. We’re here to help!

[1] These fees may be adjusted annually for inflation in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

Barry Goldstein

Barry Goldstein

Barry Goldstein is a trial attorney and partner at Waranch & Brown. His practice focuses on representing physicians, hospitals and research institutions. In addition, Mr. Goldstein has represented defendants involved in lead paint litigation. He has represented health care providers before all levels of Maryland and Federal Courts. Recently, Mr. Goldstein argued before Maryland’s highest Court in a matter that resulted in a reported opinion in which the Court defined Maryland law on specific tort duties.
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