The per-page rates – 65 cents for the first 30 pages and 50 cents for each page after that – still could be charged to reproduce paper copies of medical records.
The proposed law would allow hospitals to charge patients a maximum $15 clerical fee to produce a digital copy.
“The frustration is, you really shouldn’t even have to update the law. The providers should be exercising some discretion and not charging patients that much money,” Harrell said.
West Ashley resident Gloria Aslanidis said she contacted Harrell’s office about drafting the legislation after the Medical University Hospital charged her approximately $3,800 for a CD copy of her father’s medical record this year. The record was nearly 7,000 pages long, and although the copy was digital, the hospital charged her the maximum amount allowed by state law for each page.
This law really needs to be passed sooner rather than later. The entire system is ridiculous as it currently sits. Any patient who wishes to get records ends up waiting months at times, and having to pay a great deal of money. The hospitals source this out to third parties who presumably copy for less than the statutory amount and make money. The bill really should include a way for a patient to have one, central place to go and get records at each facility. Currently, my law office has a complicated spreadsheet showing where the records are administered for each individual facility. For instance, we have to get EMS records from NORTH CAROLINA in cases because the providers reached a deal with them. The providers do not exercise discretion on this. The absolutely do not. My office spends tens of thousands of dollars on medical records each year to review cases, and it is extremely difficult and expensive for a patient just to get a copy of records. It is sad that it took this long for this to happen, but it is good that it finally appears to have momentum.