Statutory Cost Laws For All 50 States
Use the state abbreviation links below to go to statute.
As a public service on this web page we list the various state statutes that control the amount of money that doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers can charge for copies of medical records provided to the patient or the patient’s attorney for use in personal injury or wrongful death civil cases. Note that there may be other statutes which pertain to workers’ compensation claims, Social Security disability matters, etc.
We update this page when we learn of new statutes or revisions to statutes already posted; as such, there is no regular time point at which we do this. We cannot and do not represent that all statutes are up-to-date. One type of revision which is especially hard for us to keep track of has to do with cost changes allowed annually by a statute and based on some indexed inflation rate.
Please always view the actual statute when there is a link available and always check any “UPDATE” link which you may see for a particular state because these items could contain cost information that is more current than the summary text which appears on this web page.
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If you are aware of an additional statute which should be posted on this web page, please send a link to the relevant statute to Tom Lamb.
Likewise, any clarifications, corrections, or updates regarding the statutes listed on this web page should be submitted to Tom Lamb.
Please understand that the materials on this web page are for general information purposes only, and is not intended as legal advice.
Select the state abbreviation link to go to the relevant statute:
AL | AK | AZ | AR | CA | CO | CT | DE | DC | FL | GA | HI | ID | IL | IN | IA | KS | KY | LA | ME | MD | MA | MI | MN | MS | MO | MT | NE | NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | ND | OH | OK | OR | PA | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | VA | WA | WV | WI | WY |
We want you to know that, as a patient, you have the right to:
- Ask to see and receive a copy of your medical records from most doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers such as pharmacies and nursing homes, as well as from your health plan;
- Get either a paper, or if records are kept electronically, an electronic copy of your records; and,
- Have your provider or health plan send a copy of your records to someone else.
For more information, see the “Right to Access” document from the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
This federal government agency is the primary protector of the privacy and security of your medical records information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
If your healthcare provider refuses to comply with the copying costs provided in the state statute, then you can file a health information privacy or security complaint with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Further, HIPAA mandates that a covered entity can only charge “reasonable” cost-based fees for providing the medical records to patients. See 45 CFR 164.524(c). Arguably, fees that are not cost-based, even if permitted by a state statute, may be contrary to the HIPAA regulation and therefore preempted by this federal regulation. And in those states without any specific fees set forth but, instead, refer to a “reasonable fee”, one might want to point out this provision of the HIPAA statute to a health care provider.
Lastly, state and federal regulations require hospitals and certain other institutional health care providers to maintain medical records for specified periods, but those laws usually do not apply directly to physicians or physician groups. See this 50 state survey of record retention requirements list found on the www.HealthIT.gov website (note: list appears to have been created in 2008).