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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 13, 2020 08:04 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: PA Medical Records Act
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation updating the PA Medical Records Act.

For over 30 years, the Medical Records Act has prescribed the fees that health care providers can charge for reproduction of medical records in response to a subpoena.  Although this might arguably have been reasonable in an era when medical records were written on paper and housed in multiple departments within a hospital or health system, and thus required significant time and resources to compile, copy, and mail, the statute is causing absurd fee requests in the age of electronic health records and the efficiencies attendant thereto.

Virtually all medical records are now kept electronically in today’s world.   Under the current version of the law, Section 6152, depending on who is seeking the medical records, a huge discrepancy can arise.   In a case brought to my attention, one hospital charged one party $21.03 and another party $44,023.06 for the same records in the same case.

Simply stated, a per-page fee is nonsensical relative to the reproduction of electronic medical records.

My legislation would add a section to the Act stating that for medical records which are stored electronically, the requesting party shall have the option to elect to receive the medical records in electronic format and, in that circumstance, payment to a health care provider or facility for searching for, retrieving and reproducing medical charts or records shall be $20.62 search and retrieval fee, plus the actual cost of postage, shipping or delivery.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation. 

Introduced as SB1257