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Wolfley Law Office, P.S.

713 E 1st Street
Port Angeles, WA 98362
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Telephone: (360) 457-2794
Fax : (360) 457-2045

Office Hours

Mon - Friday
9 am - 12 pm
Closed for Lunch
1 pm - 5 pm

Is the Hospital Selling Your Medical Records? (Personal Injury)

Is the Hospital Selling Your Medical Records? (Personal Injury)

There is a silent epidemic sweeping through America’s hospitals. While it is not the kind that infects anyone’s body, it is nonetheless nauseating.

THE SCAM

Humor aside, hospitals across the country are involved in a money-making scheme by selling patients’ medical records back to them at a profit. Hospitals will subcontract with a company like CIOX, LLC (formerly called IOD, Inc.), or Healthport Technologies, LLC, who then manage patient medical records and make them available upon request.

Then, when a patient requests a copy of his or her medical records, these companies will send a CD with the record burned on it, but then charge the patient on a “per page” basis. That is, the patient is paying for paper where none is provided.

So, if there are 300 “pages” in your digital medical record, the company may charge up to $1.12 per page for the first 200 pages, then $0.36 per page over 200 pages (then they’ll occasionally top it off with a $25 “clerical fee”)—totaling $285.

Then they’ll add a shipping and handling fee and taxes on top of this. One might pay hundreds of dollars for a simple CD of one’s own medical record. It’s funny, but IOD has changed its billing recently to charge on a “per image” basis, as if that makes any sense.

It’s a scam. It’s nothing more than profiteering off of an injured or ill patient’s personal medical record.

HITECH ACT

There is a subsection of the HIPAA regulations that protect patients’ health information called The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act).

This act was put into effect in 2009 to promote the benefits of technology on health records. The HITECH Act makes it clear that medical facilities cannot legally charge more than the actual cost of copying the medical records and dropping them in the mail.

For example, in 2013 the Department Health & Human Services – Office for Civil Rights, Region X, investigated allegations that Swedish Health Services was not in compliance with the federal standards. Swedish, through IOD, was billing ‘per page’ fees for simply burning medical records onto a CD.

In that case at hand, Swedish and IOD had charged a deceased person’s estate $624.51 “for a hard copy page count of 654 pages, which included a “basic fee” of $24, a copy charge of $1.09 per page for pages 1 to 30, a copy charge of $.82 per page for pages 30 to 654, plus sales tax and shipping.”

The Office of Civil Rights made it clear in their investigation into Swedish’s misconduct that patients can only be charged “reasonable, cost-based fees.” (emphasis added).

Swedish then promised the government that it would change its contract with IOD to not charge more than “$6.50 for a CD…regardless of the number of pages/images on the CD.” (emphasis added).

IOD did not seem to get the memo. As of May, 2016, it still charges on a ‘per image’ or ‘per page’ basis to patients in Washington State requesting their medical records on a CD.

TAKING ACTION

Wolfley Law Office, P.S., stands firmly against this practice. This practice cuts against the bottom-line of your final settlement. It also brings millions of dollars into these corporations and LLCs at the expense of the injured patients we serve.

If you feel you have been charged wrongfully for your own medical records, let us take a look. Feel free to call or walk in for an appointment.

Is the Hospital Selling Your Medical Records? (Personal Injury)