Patients should not have to pay an arm and a leg for copies of their own medical records. Yet the Florida Board of Medicine will consider a proposal Friday to raise the cost to $1 per page for both photocopies and electronic records. That's unreasonable, and the board should not cave in to the demands of a well-connected lobbyist for a medical records company.
HealthPort Technologies LLC, a national firm that contracts with doctors to manage medical records, is pushing the Board of Medicine to change state law to approve the fee increase. Now patients pay $1 for the first 25 pages of documents and 25 cents for each additional page after that, costs that still can quickly rise to hundreds of dollars. There's no reason to add to their pain by raising their medical bills to benefit a private company.
Cynthia Henderson, HealthPort's lobbyist, argues that the change would simplify the state administrative code and that it's hard to copy medical records and ensure confidentiality. That's not the patients' problem, and the Board of Medicine should pay more attention to patient costs than to the bottom lines of records companies.