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Inspection and Copying of Patient Records and Related Material – Cal. Health & Safety Code § 123110

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Any patient of a health care provider (adult, minor or patient’s representative) is entitled to inspect patient records by first making a written request and upon payment of reasonable clerical costs in locating the record.  The provider must allow inspection of records within 5 business days of making the written request.  The inspection must be conducted by the patient or patient representative and up to one additional person. 

Patients are entitled to access copies of their medical records upon written request and payment of reasonable copying fees not to exceed $.25 per page or $.50 per page for records copied from microfilm or other additional costs.  Providers must ensure that medical record copies are transmitted to patient within 15 days of the request.  Providers are prohibited from withholding medical records for patients’ unpaid bills.

Copies of X-rays or other film do not need to be provided to patients if they are transmitted to another health care provider within 15 days from when the patient submits a written request. The request must specify the provider’s name and address. All reasonable costs incurred by the provider in copying and sending the x-rays to the other provider may be charged to the patient.

Any patient, former patient or patient representative is entitled to copies of the relevant portions of the record at no charge, upon written request and proof that the records are needed to support an appeal regarding eligibility in a public assistance program such as Medicaid.  The provider must ensure the patient receives the copy of the medical record within 30 days from the request.  This does not apply to patients represented by private attorneys.  However, only one copy of the medical record will be provided free of charge. 

The law ensures that providers will not be held liable for the quality of the record or the copies provided in excess of existing law.  However, a health care provider may not be held liable for any consequences of disclosing the medical record as required by the law. 

Providers must have in place a process for transmitting patient records and x-rays.

A provider who willfully violates this section is guilty of unprofessional conduct, and may be subject to a $100 fine.  The state licensing authority may consider violation of this section as grounds for disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of a license.


Current as of June 2015