Copy fees limit patient access to medical records, doctors argue

From Reuters:

Even though U.S. patients are supposed to have easy access to electronic copies of their medical records, copy fees can prevent people from getting this information when they need it, some doctors argue.

Under federal guidelines issued last year, health providers are permitted to charge fees for labor, costs of creating electronic or paper copies of records and postage, Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues write in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Even though these guidelines suggest a maximum flat fee of $6.50 for electronic copies of digital records, most state laws and healthcare providers still set per-page copy fees that can add up to much higher costs for patients, the doctors note in their “Viewpoint” article.

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