Patient’s Guide to Medical Records Copying Fees

State and federal regulations ensure that copying medical records remains affordable for patients while reimbursing medical practices for copying costs.

Physicians have not traditionally sought to make a profit on providing medical records, but they have sought to recover their costs. This is allowed by law.

Copying a medical record, particularly that of an older adult who has been to the doctor many times, can take an hour or more.

Your request for your medical record

You have the right to request a copy of your medical record for your use.

A medical record for a patient is defined by state regulation as all “clinical information pertaining to the patient which has been accumulated by the physician, either by himself or through his/her providers.”

This includes:

  • Diagnostic test results
  • Physician notes
  • X-rays

    You are not entitled to the original record. Please remember physicians (and other health care providers) are required by law to keep patient records for a set period of time, so they take maintenance of these records very seriously.

    Considerations and 2010 copying fees

    Under federal regulations known as HIPAA, patients may be charged a copying fee but may not be charged for the cost of searching for and retrieving medical records.

    The 2010 medical records copying fees are effective January 1, 2010. The following charge list does not apply to an x-ray or any other part of a medical record that cannot be photocopied.

    Retrieval Fee - $0
    Pages 1-20 – Cost up to $1.32/page
    Pages 21-60 – Cost up to $.98/page
    Pages 61+ – Cost up to $.33/page

    In addition to the amounts listed, patients also may be charged for the actual cost of postage, shipping, and delivery of records.

    Note: Written “consent” of the patient is required for the use and disclosure of a patient’s Protected Health Information.