My battle for medical records…resolved.

Here is an update on my previous post My battle for medical records. After posting this entry one of my fellow CDC mom’s Rachel felt my frustration and took it upon herself to help me out. She sent me a message along with some links where I found the Florida Administrative Code where it states the following:

64B8-10.003 Costs of Reproducing Medical Records.
Recognizing that patient access to medical records is important and necessary to assure continuity of patient care, the Board of Medicine urges physicians to provide their patients a copy of their medical records, upon request, without cost, especially when the patient is economically disadvantaged. The Board, however, also recognizes that the cost of reproducing voluminous medical records may be financially burdensome to some practitioners. Therefore, the following rule sets forth the permitted costs for the reproduction of medical records.
(1) Any person licensed pursuant to Chapter 458, F.S., required to release copies of patient medical records may condition such release upon payment by the requesting party of the reasonable costs of reproducing the records.
(2) For patients and governmental entities, the reasonable costs of reproducing copies of written or typed documents or reports shall not be more than the following:
(a) For the first 25 pages, the cost shall be $1.00 per page.
(b) For each page in excess of 25 pages, the cost shall be 25 cents.
(3) For other entities, the reasonable costs of reproducing copies of written or typed documents or reports shall not be more than $1.00 per page.
(4) Reasonable costs of reproducing x-rays, and such other special kinds of records shall be the actual costs. The phrase “actual costs” means the cost of the material and supplies used to duplicate the record, as well as the labor costs and overhead costs associated with such duplication.
Specific Authority 456.057(18), 458.309 FS. Law Implemented 456.057(18) FS. History–New 11-17-87, Amended 5-12-88, Formerly 21M-26.003, 61F6-26.003, 59R-10.003, Amended 3-9-09.

I then typed up this letter (below), attached a copy of the Florida Administrative Code and hand delivered it to the office providing a copy for our pediatrician.

Tuesday June, 12, 2012 

 Dear Brito Medical Center Management, 

 My daughter Sophie Deleon born 4/30/2009. Sophie who is legally disabled along with my five typical children are patients of Dr. Lourdes Nieves. I am relocating out of Florida and in the process collecting all of my daughter’s medical records because of her extensive medical history and complications. I have successfully and without obstacle obtained her medical records from her Cardiologist, Ophthalmologist, Pulmonologist, Audiologist, Gastroenterologist, ENT, Geneticist and Neurologist without having to pay any fees. 

 I am in severe economical disadvantage which makes it nearly impossible to pay for the medical records as your office charges per page. For your information I have also attached a printout of the Florida Statues, Administrative Code Rule 64B8-10.003 regarding records from physicians. 

 It is imperative that I have a copy of my child’s medical records to ensure she continues to receive the best care possible. I understand that you can fax her records to her new physicians but if a complication arises before I am able to get her new physician set up her records can mean the difference between life or death for her. While I understand you have policies in place you must also understand that my child’s life is more important than any policy. I understand  your facility stores medical records electronically, to facilitate the process, I have offered to provide a jump drive to upload her files and eliminate printing costs and labor time for your employees.

 Doctor Nieves is an amazing doctor and human being. She has provided my children with exceptional care. She has helped me keep my daughter alive against all odds and I will always be eternally grateful to her for that. She has come to know me, my family and my struggles as I have fought to keep my daughter here on this earth and my family together. 

 I do appreciate and hope that your office will cooperate and accept my request to waive any fees and allow me to have access to my daughter’s medical records as I am requesting. I will inform you that I did put in a call and left messages to the Agency for Health Care Administration and The Arc For people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities to inquire about fees for medical records regarding disabled individuals. 

Sincerely,  Charity Deleon

I had the incident on Tuesday, dropped of the letter on Wednesday and on Thursday afternoon I got a call from the office manager to bring a flash drive to my next appointment and she would give me my daughter’s medical records.

I learned this is just the beginning of our journey and advocate will be one of my main titles. Who knows which of my efforts paid off. Was the office manager not aware that there was a limit to what they could charge for medical records? Did she just have sympathy for the sleep deprived hysterically crying mother who almost brought her to tears? Did the doctor intervene and redirect the situation? Or did they realize how morally wrong it all was. Who knows what made them see the light….In the end my efforts paid off and I now have possession of ALL of my daughter’s medical records.

Even through the frustration I was not going to give up and my dedication proved to be successful.  

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