By Ryan S. Stark, Esq., partner, advocate at lawPage, Wolfberg & Wirth, LLC”
I get this catechism frequently: How abundant can we allegation attorneys back they appeal a archetype of a patient’s medical records? Back it comes to requests from attorneys, you are not bound by HIPAA’s reasonable, cost-based fee.
When it comes to requests from patients, or their claimed representatives, HIPAA banned you to charging the accommodating a reasonable, cost-based fee for the medical annal request. You can alone allegation patients for the amount of:
2. Supplies (e.g., paper, or if you accord the accommodating a CD or USB drive).
3. Postage if you mail the record.
You may not allegation a retrieval fee. The Office for Civil Rights accurately outlines the fees you may allegation to the accommodating back the appeal comes from a patient, or the patient’s claimed representative.
You ability be afraid to apprentice that requests from attorneys are not accountable to the reasonable, cost-based amount beneath HIPAA. Generally, you can allegation an advocate whatever your accompaniment law permits you to allegation for requests for medical annal – alike if that fee would beat the HIPAA cost-based rate.
In a accepted scenario, an advocate represents a accommodating that your bureau transported, and the advocate wants a archetype of their client’s accommodating affliction report. For example, let’s say the accommodating you transported was in a motor agent blow and she is now suing the added disciplinarian for her injuries. The patient’s advocate would appetite a archetype of the patient’s cruise address to prove those injuries.
Typically, the advocate sends a appeal on their card allurement for a archetype of the patient’s medical record, and the appeal includes an allotment active by the accommodating allowing you to absolution the almanac to her attorney.
In this case, because the appeal came anon from the attorney, you may allegation the advocate what you are acceptable to allegation beneath your accompaniment law for medical almanac requests. In added words, you are not bound to a reasonable cost-based fee.
In contrast, if the appeal comes anon from the patient, and the accommodating directs you to accommodate her annal to her attorney, again you are bound to the HIPAA cost-based fee. Or, if the accommodating is artlessly allurement you to accelerate a archetype of her annal to her, again you can alone allegation the accommodating a cost-based fee for that record. Here, the appeal is advancing from the patient.
Some agencies accept not to allegation patients or attorneys annihilation for medical almanac requests. Or, some agencies alone allegation attorneys, but not patients. That’s OK. HIPAA does not crave agencies to allegation a fee for medical records, and HIPAA does not crave that you abandon fees for attorneys if you abandon fees for patients. HIPAA artlessly banned the fees you can allegation to patients back patients, or their accustomed claimed representatives, accomplish the appeal for medical records.
Ryan Stark is an advocate with Page, Wolfberg & Wirth, LLC, The National EMS Industry Law Firm. He co-authored the alarmingly acclaimed Ambulance Service Guide to HIPAA Compliance and HIPAATV 2.0 Training Video. He can be accomplished at www.pwwemslaw.com or at 877-EMS-LAW1.
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