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243. Mass. Code Regs. 2.07. - General Provisions Governing The Practice Of Medicine

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General Provisions Governing The Practice Of Medicine

A physician must maintain adequate records for each patient.  The physician must keep the record for at least 7 years from the date of the last encounter with the patient or until the patient reaches the age of 9 (if more than 7 years).  If the patient requests, the physician must provide the patient the opportunity to inspect his or her record and have a copy of the record in a timely manner.   

According to the rule, a physician may charge a patient who wants a copy of his or her medical record a fee.  However, the physician cannot require prepayment of the charges for the medical services to which the records relate.   A physician can charge fees for copying and for the clerical time it takes to provide the record at a reasonable rate.  The rule defines a reasonable rate as one that is not more than $.25 per page for copies or more than $20 per hour for clerical work.  A physician may charge a patient for copies of X-rays only his or her cost plus not more than $20 per hour in clerical fees.  A physician may not charge copying or clerical fees to patients who request the copies to pursue a claim under the Social Security Act or any other federal or state financial need based benefit program.  

Current as of June 2015