We sometimes receive calls from irate patients/clients, who have been told, by their treating doctor, that in order for them to obtain a copy of their own medical records, they must pay the doctors office a certain amount. Many individuals, understandably so, believe that the medical records are their own and not the property of the doctor.
Unfortunately, under Pennsylvania law, the medical care provider owns the records; however, the patient has an absolute right to access or obtain copies of the original medical record, which is consistent with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Nevertheless, neither Pennsylvania law nor HIPAA allows a patient to remove the original medical record from the medical care provider’s file.
While HIPAA precludes the medical care provider from charging the patient a fee for locating and retrieving medical records, the patient may be charged a reasonable fee, pursuant to HIPAA and Pennsylvania law. Pursuant to 42 PA.C.S. 6152, a medical provider cannot charge more than the following: 1. for pages 1-20, $1.00 per page; 2. for page 21-60, $.75 per page; 3. for pages 61 and thereafter, $.25 per page; and 4. the actual cost of postage, shipping, or delivery.
Also, a physician must keep your records for seven (7) years since your last treatment or visit. So, if it has been close to seven years since your last visit or treatment, you should call your doctor to learn of their retention policy and whether you can take the file before it is destroyed.
Published by Joshua Prince, Esq.
With our 2nd Amendment rights being attacked at both the Federal and State level, and the ATF (Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) trying to close down FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees) for minor infractions while making FFLs the scapegoat when the ATF's records are inaccurate, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am one of only a handful of attorneys across the US that practices in the niche area of law known as firearms law. I decided to concentrate my legal practice on firearms law not only because I am a shooter and firearms enthusiast, but also to ensure that our inalienable Right to Keep and Bear Arms is never encroached upon.
I handle cases at the Federal and State level for both FFLs and individuals. At the federal and state levels for individuals, I actively defend the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution and Section 21 of the PA Constitution, as well as, help individuals with:
- License to Carry Firearms Denials;
- Challenges to Erroneous PICS Denials;
- Relief from Firearms Disabilities;
- Estate Planning Advice;
- Gun/NFA Trusts; and
- 42 USC 1983 Actions for Deprivation of Civil Rights
At both the state and federal levels, I represent FFLs and SOTs throughout Pennsylvania and the US regarding:
- ATF Compliance Inspections;
- Warning Letters and Hearings;
- FFL Revocations;
- Corporate Structure Advice
- Indoor/Outdoor Range Implementation; and
- Forfeiture Proceedings
In following my love for firearms and firearms law, I have taught several Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars on Firearms in Estates and Trusts and Firearms Law 101 for several Bar Associations, including Berks, Cumberland, and Dauphin Counties. I also planned and taught several Firearms in Estates CLE classes for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI).
While at Widener Law School, I was a member of the Widener Law Journal. I wrote an article on the Inaccuracy of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). I also had an article published on Fee Disputes in Workers Compensation cases in the Widener Law Journal, Volume 18, No. 2.
You can often find me posting on several internet forums, including Subguns, Uzitalk, AR15, and PAFOA. I also hold PA Firearms Law classes for local ranges to inform the public on the firearm laws of the Commonwealth.
Following in my father's footsteps, I am also a Board member for the Pottstown Police Athletic League (PAL).
View all posts by Joshua Prince, Esq.