Informer: Doctors may charge fee for copying records

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press


will be moving. I would like to get my medical and dental records,

including the X-rays. How do I go about securing my records?

Also, will I be charged a fee?

Under state law, patients have a right to copies of their records “upon furnishing a signed authorization.”

But the law allows health care providers — the legal owners of the documents — to ask patients to pay “a reasonable copying

charge,” a handling fee and “actual postage” for furnishing the copies.

For paper copies, the copying fee can be up to $1 per page for the first 25 pages, 50 cents a page for pages 26-350 and a quarter per page for each page after that. The handling fee can’t exceed $25.

For digital copies of records, the same copying rates apply, but the law says the charges can’t exceed $100, “including all

postage and handling charges actually incurred.”

For copies of X-rays, health care providers can charge for “reasonable reproduction costs,” along with a handling fee — $20 for hospitals and $10 for all other health care providers. The copying rates for X-rays

are the same as for records, but the charge for digital copies can’t exceed $200.

“Medical and dental records shall be retained by a physician or dentist in the original, microfilmed, or similarly reproduced

form for a minimum period of six years from the date a patient is last treated by a physician or dentist. ...,” reads the

statute, R.S 40:1299.96.

“Graphic matter, images, X-ray films, and like matter that were necessary to produce a diagnostic or therapeutic report shall

be retained, preserved and properly stored by a physician or dentist in the original, microfilmed or similarly reproduced

form for a minimum period of three years from the date a patient is last treated by the physician or dentist.”

The term “health care provider” refers, in part, to hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, dentists, chiropractors, social

workers, midwives, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, optometrists, psychologists and

licensed professional counselors.


Project to provide link, improve access

I am curious why the Nelson Road extension is proposed. With the Cove Lane project and the reroute/expansion of Prien, why is the bridge and tie-in to Sallier necessary? Is it for the port? Is there a DOTD document on this topic?

A state Department of Transportation and Development news release issued Aug. 12, ahead of last month’s public meeting, provides

the following project rationale:

“The purpose of the Nelson Road

Extension & Bridge and W. Sallier Street Improvements projects is to

provide a direct transportation

link for the traveling public from Interstate 210 and southern

Lake Charles across Contraband Bayou, and improve existing

roadway access to downtown Lake Charles and the Port of Lake

Charles (a major port facility in Louisiana).”


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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email