An internet television program that explores the intersection of medicine and the law.

Records Requests from Patients Who Owe for Services

By Richard J. Rymond to EMR/EHR


Records Requests from Patients Who Owe for Services

Join us for Part VI of our latest Healthcare Matters series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, as we ask attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA, to discuss the situation of receiving a records request from a patient who has not paid for services. Mr. Rymond is the Dental Liability Practice Co-Chair at Reminger, and an assistant professor at the Case School of Dental Medicine. He is a frequent speaker on risk management programs for physicians, dentists and allied health professionals.

To see the full episode from the beginning, click here. Or, use the links below to watch each portion separately.

  1. The Right Response to a Records Request
  2. How to Respond to a Records Request from a Third Party
  3. Original Records or Copies: What to Provide
  4. Should You Review Records before Providing Them?
  5. Consulting with Colleagues on a Records Request
  6. Records Requests from Patients Who Owe for Services
  7. Paper Records versus Electronic Health Records
  8. The Number One Takeaway for Physicians on Records Requests
  9. Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know


Mike Matray: Okay. We’ve talked about how this is really the patient’s records, but let’s say the patient is in arrears or hasn’t paid for medical services. Is it still the patient’s right to see their records if they request it?

Richard Rymond: There actually are some professional advisory opinions on the subject and while the temptation might be to withhold producing records until the patient account is paid, that should not be done. The patient is entitled to their records. There is an independent question of whether the healthcare provider can charge a fee for copying of records. I’ve probably seen it a hundred times in my practice, where the healthcare provider tries to dissuade the requester from following up on the request by charging a substantial fee. Two hundred dollars for a five page chart for example. Most states, certainly Ohio, has a statute, which limits what can be charged for the duplication of the chart. And while the healthcare provider may want to get prepayment for the duplication of the chart, there are risk management considerations that might dictate against making that request.