BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lifetime Health Medical Group’s announcement this week they will be closing their three medical facilities in Erie County by December 31 raised a number questions among the group’s 43,000 patients, including how much it will cost to get copies of their medical records to share with their new doctors.
The New York state health law allows medical providers to charge patients up 75 cents per page to provide their patients copies of their medical records, which did not set well with Paul Yacono, a patient of more than 10 years.
“They are telling me I have to pay 75 cents a page. Well that could add up very quickly. You are talking 10 pages, that is $7.00. What if it is 100 pages? Now I’ve got to come up with this money.”
But Lifetime Health officials are cutting their patients some slack with the cost of copying their medical files, according to spokeswoman Stacy Van Blarcom.
“New York state law permits health care organizations to charge 75 cents a page for patients’ medical records, for copies of those medical records. Lifetime Health is providing the first two years at no charge.”
That means Lifetime Health will provide copies of a patient’s medical records for the most recent two years on file, and any records past those two years will incur a 75 cent per page charge.
Yacono still opposes charging patients for their own records, “Those are my medical records, is the way I look at it, not theirs, and if they are going out of business then I should have access to my records to give to my new doctor.”
A spokesperson for the New York State Health Department clarified the cost of getting patient medical records from a health care provider to another: medical files are generally transmitted electronically between service providers, at no charge.
Therefore when Lifetime Health’s patients find their new doctors, their records can be transferred at no cost to the patient. For more information on Lifetime Health Medical Group’s closing, click on this link to their website.