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BILL STRIVES TO CUT COST

Hospitals, doctors, and other health-care providers would be limited in how much they may charge patients for copies of their medical records under a bill approved 92-1 yesterday by the Ohio House.

"Some physicians and health-care providers choose to charge very fair amounts and some do not," said state Rep. Lynn Olman (R., Maumee), the bill's sponsor. He cited an example of a patient charged $612 for a 508-page copy of his own medical report.

Under the bill, which goes to the state Senate, the fee for the initial record search would be capped at $15. Copying fees of $1 per page could be added for the first 10 pages, 50 cents per page for the next 40 pages, and then 20 cents for any page beyond that. If the data is supplied in any form other than paper, such as computer disk, the cost of the record could be assessed.

Patients would be entitled to review their records free of charge during the provider's normal business hours. Hospitals that have contracts with companies to provide such copying services would not be affected by the bill.

Mr. Olman told the House the fee schedule was taken from a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers against medical providers in Cuyahoga County. "It's an issue of fairness for consumers and patients of this state," he said.

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© Copyright 2008 State Representative Lynn Olman. All rights reserved.

 

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