Q:

Why do you not get one free copy of your medical records?

A:

Quick Answer

Providers are permitted to charge a reasonable, cost-based fee when patients need printed copies of their records. The fee covers the cost of copying and, if needed, mailing medical records. Electronic copies of health information should be readily available to patients at no cost.

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Full Answer

A provider should not deny patients copies of their records because they have not paid for the services received. Since the landmark case of McInerney v. MacDonald, there is no restriction on a patient's right to access medical records. The court stated that the information in the records belongs to the patient, but the physical record belongs to the person responsible for its creation.

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