Confidentiality, Privacy and Security

charging patients for copies

  • 1.  charging patients for copies

    Posted 08-19-2020 11:20
    Is anyone still charging patients for paper copies?  If so, can you briefly explain your fee structure?

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    DeAnn Tucker MHA, RHIA, CHPS, CCS
    Senior Manager | Coker Group
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  • 2.  RE: charging patients for copies

    Posted 08-20-2020 01:28
    Edited by Frank Ruelas 08-20-2020 01:28
    DeAnn...I was listening to a call addressing an individual's right to access which includes obtaining a hardcopy of PHI.

    It seemed that many of the hospitals on the line don't charge unless the page count hits a certain threshold such as over 100 pages.  Some of the hospitals on the call were pediatric hospitals and it was not uncommon for some patients to have charts in the 500+ or 1000+ page count range.  All of them try to offer an electronic option, but it seems that the volume of requests for hardcopies is still considerable.

    Some of these folks on the call were also familiar with the AMA (I think that was who put it out) document where it listed the charges allowable by state for paper copies.  It's the same document posted in one of the eGroups.

    Hope this helps.

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    Frank Ruelas
    Compliance Professional
    Arizona
    Posted: 10:27 PM AZ time
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  • 3.  RE: charging patients for copies

    Posted 08-20-2020 08:56
    We are not charging either.   There just comes a time where the minimal allowable cost and collecting it is just not worth the resources.  It is just a nice good will thing to do - providing copies at no cost.

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    Nancy Davis, MS, RHIA, CHPS
    Director of Compliance & Safety
    Door County Medical Center
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  • 4.  RE: charging patients for copies

    Posted 08-20-2020 09:37
    Edited by Frank Ruelas 08-20-2020 09:37
    I'm sure the decision to charge or not is an organizational, business management decision.  There were some folks on the call that do not charge, but not many.  Of those, a few indicated they likely would start charging sometime in the near future.  They also indicated that for whatever reason, people were still hesitant to accept electronic copies.

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    Frank Ruelas
    Compliance Professional
    Arizona
    Posted: 6:36 AM AZ time
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  • 5.  RE: charging patients for copies

    Posted 30 days ago
    This is Such a Good Question, i would have never thought offices would charge for copies. I guess it all depends on the policies of each office.

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    Susana Islas
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  • 6.  RE: charging patients for copies

    Posted 30 days ago
    Edited by Frank Ruelas 30 days ago
    Susana...completely agree.  For some offices and even larger types of providers such as clinics and hospitals....factors such as number of requests, filing methods, availability of technology to copy pages, labor, supplies (for example the ability to copy both sides of a page at once rather than having to copy one side, flip the page and copy the other)..will likely contribute to whether or not a provider charges for copies.

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    Frank Ruelas
    Compliance Professional
    Arizona
    Posted: 8:00 PM AZ time
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  • 7.  RE: charging patients for copies

    Posted 30 days ago
    We use a release of information service and yes we do charge for paper copies of medical records, so I let the ROI vendor deal with complying with the pricing structure set up by North Carolina.  I do think we should charge for paper records as we want to encourage people to utilize our portals where they have access to the information.   We want to encourage portal use for meaningful use but also to reduce the number of paper requests that our staff have to handle.   The paper requests do requiring additional staffing, if you have any volume.  We have a lot in the practices.   ROI is a very busy area in my facility and reducing the in person requests is important in our productivity and accuracy.   The in person request can be high risk since the person working the desk has to deal with the telephone, faxing, and the in-person (on demand) request, it easy to make a mistake.

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    Esta Farmer
    Director Health Information Management
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