Health records may not be withheld because of an unpaid bill for medical services. However, a provider may withhold health record information from the patient if the provider reasonably determines that either the information would be detrimental to the physical or mental health of the patient, or the information is likely to cause the patient to harm him/herself or someone else.
The following fees may be charged for copying medical records:
A provider must consider waiving or reducing the charges for copies of a patient’s medical record if the request is from a provider to whom the patient was referred for treatment or from whom the patient is seeking a second opinion, or if the patient has requested the records for his or her own use and the charges will cause the patient undue financial hardship.
Medicaid considers medical records part of its covered services, so providers cannot charge Medicaid patients for copies of records.