Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced the Medical Records Access Fairness Act, which would require health care providers to give patients access to their medical records at no cost at least once per year.
“Quality health care hinges on a patient’s doctor having all the information about their case, but costly medical records can make this impossible,” said Rep. Foster.
According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, the medical records fees that doctor offices charge patients can be a financial burden; if a patient is unable to afford the cost, it can delay or prevent their doctors from coordinating on their care, or even prevent them from getting needed care at all. Patients who have long medical histories can incur costs of thousands of dollars on medical record copies, which are often charged per page and per recipient. The study also describes a situation in which one patient was charged over $100 for an electronic copy.
“Quality health care hinges on a patient’s doctor having all the information about their case, but costly medical records can make this impossible,” said Rep. Foster. The Medical Records Access Fairness Act is supported by the Chronic Disease Coalition, the National MS Society, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.