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Ask-A-Consultant: Charging patients for medical records copying?


Is it OK to charge a patient for medical records copying? This concerns a patient who asked for a 2nd set of copies of her chart to another doctor. The first time we sent the copies free of charge. Now she's changing doctors again and we are asking for $25 for copying her records. She doesn't want to pay and her new doctor is saying this is illegal.


Record requested for application or appeal or a disability claim, or as required under the Worker’s Compensation laws must be made at no charge to the patient, however, pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Section 31-33-3, the Practice may charge a reasonable amount for medical record retrieval, certification and copying. The fees allowed by the State of Georgia is adjusted for inflation each July by the Georgia Office of Planning and Budget ( contact 404-656-4337 for yearly updates) in an amount based on the medical component of the Consumer Price Index. As of July 1, 2003 these fees were: To keep the costs down, try to verify whether specific portions of the chart are needed versus the entire chart. If you use the formula above, advise the patient in advance what the actual cost will be.

Karen M. Beard, CPC
Senior Associate

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Medical Management Associates, Inc.
3330 Cumberland Boulevard Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30339
Voice (770) 951-8427 Facsimile (770) 951-2157