How Much Can You Charge for Reproduction of an Arizona Medical Record?
How much can you charge for the reproduction of the medical record in Arizona? Well, that depends on who is requesting it. I am going to read from the statute to be clear about what the rules are.
Arizona Revised Statute
And so, this is ARS, Arizona Revised Statute chapter 12, section 2295, and it just says a healthcare provider may charge a person who requests reproduction of medical records a reasonable fee for the reproduction of those records. It says, except as necessary for continuity of care, a healthcare provider or contractor may require the payment of any fees in advance. So, what does that mean? Yes, a healthcare provider can charge a person a reasonable fee and require that fee be paid in advance if continuity of care is not an issue.
But the definition of a person is important. So, if it’s sent by a court, if it’s sent by a licensing board, if it’s sent by some other arm of the government, you can’t charge a fee for that. And then in this specific statute, it says the healthcare provider shall not charge when it is requested by another healthcare provider for the purposes of providing care, the patient itself, the healthcare decision maker of a patient, so someone who has healthcare power of attorney.
And it says, for the demonstrated purpose of obtaining healthcare for the patient, the Arizona Medical Board, the Board of Osteopathic examiners, Department of Health, or the patient or a patient’s legal representative for the purpose of appealing a denial of benefits under the Social Security Act. A normal healthcare provider will many times get requests for medical records from attorneys. And so, not for the purpose of obtaining healthcare, but for the purpose of a lawsuit. And in that scenario, then, yes, you could charge a reasonable fee to the requesting attorney, but you cannot charge any fee for those things that I listed previously.
What is Considered a Reasonable Fee?
Now, what would be considered a reasonable fee? Well, it depends upon how long the records are. Many people would consider a per-page fee of maybe five to 10 cents per page. Others would find that a flat fee for the records, somewhere between 25 to $50 would be a reasonable amount. There are some set fees for medical record reproduction in specific areas and usually involving workers’ comp or social security. But somewhere in that range would be considered a reasonable amount. Now, if the medical record contains thousands of pages, then in that scenario, you obviously wouldn’t want to charge $25.
You can not only charge a reasonable amount for the amount reproduced but maybe even the time of staff. If it takes a staff member four hours to print out a medical record, well, it’s not fair to the provider that they must undertake all of those costs when reproducing these records. However, as I said before, if someone is requesting them for the purpose of continuing care, another healthcare provider needs them to provide care to that patient.
Can You Charge for the Reproduction of Medical Records in Arizona?
So, maybe your primary care specialist requests a medical record of a patient who has come to see them, and you must send it. Now, with EMR or electronic medical records, it’s usually easy to send records back and forth between different parties. If they just want it faxed, it is easy but if they want a paper copy, you certainly are going to have to comply with that no matter how much time it likely takes. It can be annoying for a provider, but that’s just what the law states. So, can you charge an amount for the reproduction of medical records in Arizona? Yes, but it depends on who’s requesting the document. Because if it is one of those parties that I listed before, then you can’t charge anything.
Arizona Medical Records Subpoena
Traditionally, medical facilities have been required to provide considerable support and confidentiality regarding medical records. Such entities must assist the patients and ensure that their medical records can only be accessed when necessary. Most patients know that their medical records are secure and cannot be accessed by any individual without their express authority.
However, medical records confidentiality seems to fall in balance when a subpoena is issued. This means you’re now subjected to a situation where you must decide. You must protect your clients while at the same time adhering to the legal requirements of the medical records subpoena. Some of the individuals who can request medical records include:
- Individual patients
- Judges, through court orders
Subpoena from Health Professional Regulatory Board (32-3201)
The release of medical records to third parties under a subpoena is not one of the simplest things. As a medical professional, you’re constantly wondering about the best course of action. You don’t want to make a mistake that might negatively impact your daily life and career. That’s why you need to constantly pay attention to the necessary Health Professional Regulatory Board (32-3201) on how you’re supposed to respond to medical records subpoena.
As stipulated by the Health Professional Regulatory Board (32-3201), you’ll constantly receive medical records subpoenas from various healthcare professional regulatory boards. These bodies are primarily interested in analyzing and understanding whether professionals have been paying attention to their operational procedures. Some of the healthcare regulatory bodies that can subpoena medical records include:
- Psychology Board
- Nursing Board
- Board of Psychiatrist
- Behavioral Medical Board
As a physician, you might wonder whether you must respond to medical records subpoenas from various medical boards. Usually, it is professional to respond to your regulatory body.
Arizona Medical Records Subpoena Response
As highlighted above, sometimes you’ll not have an option but to respond to a medical records subpoena. This is usually the case when you’re served with a court order, a signed and certified attorney request and a medical record request from a patient. Also, you must always pay attention to the demands of various healthcare regulatory bodies. You don’t want to be against the code of ethics in your sector.
You can always take a back seat and ignore the subpoenas issues by various third-party organizations. In some instances, there’s nothing will happen to you. There are some instances when your attorney might advise you to ignore some of the medical subpoenas. This is common when such medical records subpoenas are missing some crucial details.
However, as noted earlier, you should respond to medical subpoenas to remain within the required regulations. If you don’t know how to respond to such requests, there’s a probability you will make some severe mistakes. Here are some tips to avoid making mistakes when responding to medical records subpoenas.
- Confirm that the court issued the order
- Check whether the subpoena is complete
- Check if there’s evidence indicating the patient has been notified
- Ensure that proper procedures are followed when processing subpoena requests
- Take note of the due date stated on the subpoena and submit records during the recommended time
- Only provide the requested medical records
Medical Records Subpoena in Arizona Civil Actions
As noted earlier, medical regulatory bodies tend to subpoena medical records from various professionals in the medical industry. Their primary role is to ensure that the experts in the healthcare industry are already offering the necessary healthcare services as needed. Essentially, you already know this, and you’re consistently ready and prepared to provide the required medical records for evaluation.
However, in some instances, it’s not about you. It’s about the patients, courts, and attorneys. Such professionals are interested in approving or disapproving various cases in court. That’s why you must always ensure that you have the necessary guidance and support to offer you some of the essential skills on how to respond.
In Arizona, you might be required to provide medical records for civil actions. This means that such documents are essential in addressing such complex issues. Some of the everyday civil actions that might demand medical records include:
- Personal injury claim
- Medical negligence
- Workers’ compensation
Objecting to an Arizona Medical Records Subpoena
Usually, as a medical professional, you might be accustomed to the idea that you must constantly respond to medical records subpoenas. This seems to be the norm in the industry for a lengthy period. Most medical professionals want to be in a position to adhere to the professional codes of ethics.
However, as you’ll discover, you can object to a medical records subpoena. This sounds like something that a medical professional has no authority over. With the assistance of legal assistance, there are some instances where you can easily object to a medical record subpoena. Some of the cases where you can object to medical records subpoena include:
- Subpoena issued out of time
- No subpoena conduct money
- Subpoena not signed by the judge
- No express authority from the patient
- Subpoena issued by a different medical board
Arizona Medical Records Subpoena Attorney
As a medical professional, you rarely seek the services of an attorney. You’re already operating in a niche that does not demand many legal activities, which means that the services of an attorney are not necessarily in your diary. Your main objective is to concentrate on offering the necessary healthcare services to people in need.
However, as trends have shown, you’re never away from a legal issue that directly impacts your profession. Data shows roughly 24 medical malpractice lawsuits for every 100,000 people in Arizona. You could be on the receiving end of one of these medical errors, which means you’ll need an attorney to provide legal services.
Chelle Law: Our Firm Assists Healthcare Providers
Our law firm assists healthcare providers with medical records subpoenas in Arizona. If you’re reading this, you’re likely a healthcare provider that may have been issued a subpoena and you’re just not certain what to do next. Who is requesting the subpoena? Have they followed the rules? In what situations do you not need to respond and in what situations can you refuse to provide a subpoena?
These are all normal questions that a healthcare provider will have. Let’s just kind of briefly break down where most subpoenas come from. First, attorneys who are representing specific parties may request medical records from the healthcare provider. Once again, there must be specific rules followed, and so a healthcare provider could object if those rules aren’t followed.
Next would be a healthcare licensing board. For instance, if you are a psychologist, and the Arizona Board of Psychology issues a subpoena for one of your patient’s medical records, what are you required to do? Do you have to provide it? How is HIPAA involved? Normal questions that most people ask. If a court sends a subpoena to a healthcare provider, what do you do? Do you need to respond? And then last, one of the main areas of contention is if you’re in family civil court case involving custody or divorce. Most people are unaware of whether they must comply with the subpoena for their medical records because usually, the adverse party will try to use those medical records against the other parent or spouse in that case.
There are simply some, I guess, technical things that must be followed for a subpoena to be adhered to by the healthcare provider. Now, the healthcare provider can object and there are certain objections that they can forward. But for the most part, the provider will ultimately have to provide the record to the requesting party, assuming they follow the rules. But for most people, they’re just completely unaware of what is necessary for them to follow and not follow, and then what are the possible repercussions if they refuse to provide the medical records.