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Archaic Records Statutes

04/20/2017

WA state’s medical commission plans to update maximum allowable statutory charges for searching for and copying medical records “per page” soon. Has your state figured out that most providers now store patient records on electronic media -- not paper -- and no longer come in “pages?”

This lawmaker negligence leads to consternation on the part of providers and patients. “Printing” your medical records for another provider makes no sense today. State statutes should allow for charge by digital file, either transmitted electronically or copied to digital media like thumb drives, SD cards or optical disks.

Many medical records may exist in old paper files and digital files, so states should keep statutes addressing paper record copy charges, too.

These laws should also allow providers to charge a reasonable fee for transmitting a record digitally to a cloud-based patient-centric record repository, and they should mandate that both the patient and other medical providers have read-only access to the native EMR via Internet on a computer screen.

Does your state still operate in the Dark Ages in addressing medical records transfer?