In Virginia, How Much Can a Doctor Charge a Patient or an Attorney For Medical Records?

As you can imagine as part of my law practice I need to request a large amount of medical records for my clients.  I also, on occasion, have had to request my own medical records.  I am always surprised at how much a doctr’s office will charge for medical records.

If a patient requests a copy of his or her own records, a medical provider may charge a “reasonable cost based fee,” which can only include the cost of supplies for, and labor of, copying the requested information, postage, and preparation of an explanation or summary of such information as agreed to by the patient. Code of Virginia § 32.1-127.1:03(J).

If an attorney requests a paper copy of the patient’s records, a medical provider may charge 50¢ per page up to 50 pages and 25¢ per page for each additional page, plus a $20 search and handling fee and all postage and shipping costs. These costs do not apply to photocopies of x-rays, which cost a “reasonable fee” that may include a search and handling fee of $10 plus the actual cost of reproduction and all postage and shipping costs, or copies from microfilm or other micrographic process, which cost $1 per page.

For electronic copies, a medical provider may charge for medical records 37¢ per page up to 50 pages and 18¢ per page for each additional page, plus a $20 search and handling fee and all postage and shipping costs, not to exceed a total of $150 for requests made on or after July 1, 2017 but before July 1, 2021, or $160 for requests made on or after July 1, 2021. These costs do not apply to electronic copies of x-rays, which cost a “reasonable fee” of $25 per x-ray, plus a search and handling fee of $10 and all postage and shipping costs.

Attorneys must provide medical providers with a written confirmation signed by the patient confirming the attorney’s authority to make the request (a photocopy, facsimile or other copy of the original signed by the patient is acceptable). The medical provider must furnish the records within 30 days of receipt of the request.  Code of Virginia § 8.01-413(B).