Fees for Copying Patient Medical Records

When patients request copies of their own medical records, healthcare providers cannot charge a patient a retrieval or certifying fee for copying records, and the physician cannot require a patient to pay any outstanding bills before retrieving and copying medical records. A patient must request, in writing, a copy of medical records. The requested records must be provided within 30 days of receipt of the written request.

Physicians can charge a patient to copy X-rays and any other documents not reproduceable by photocopy. The physician can charge the actual cost to reproduce the document plus a reasonable fee for clerical services that cannot be more than $25.

There are certain situations when healthcare providers cannot charge a fee for copying medical records.

  • No fees can be charged for copies of immunization records that are required for school entry.
  • No fees can be charged for copies of records that will be used to support a claim or an appeal for Social Security, medical assistance, Rite Care, Temporary Disability Insurance, unemployment compensation, or any other federal or state needs-based benefits program.
  • No fees can be charged for copies of records that will be used in a civil court certification proceeding or for a Worker’s Compensation claim.
  • No fees can be charged for copies of medical records that are being sent to another consulting provider.

Fees for Providing Copies of Medical Records to Authorized Third Parties

A physician can charge an authorized third party for retrieving and copying medical records if the third party has a signed authorization for release of records from the patient. An authorized third party is defined as attorneys representing a patient, attorneys not representing a patient, a patient’s estate, or an insurance company.

These fees were set by Rhode Island General Law §216-RICR-40-05-1, enacted in October 2018. Physicians can also charge an authorized third party for the actual cost of postage.

Per page fee for first 10 paper pages

$2.50

Per page fee for paper pages 11-60

$0.75

Per page fee for paper pages 61+

$0.50

Maximum allowable fee

none