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LSA –R.S. 40:1299.96

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Health care information; records

A health care provider must give a patient of all health care information relating to the patient that has been transferred to another company, agency or person, upon the patient’s request. 

Patient medical records maintained in a provider’s office are the property and business records of the health care provider.

The following individuals have a right to obtain a copy of a patient’s medical record  in the form the record is maintained upon presentment of a signed authorization:

  • A patient or a patient’s legal representative;
  • If the patient is deceased:
    • The executor of the will
    • Administrator of the estate
    • Surviving parents, children or spouse
  • After a claim has been filed:
    • The insurance company
    • Insurance company’s counsel
  • After a lawsuit has been initiated:
    • The defendant or defense counsel. 

If the original records are kept in paper form, copying fees may apply not to exceed $1 per page for the first 25 pages, $.50 per page for pages 26-350, and $.25 for each page thereafter, and postage costs may also be applied.  A handling charge not to exceed $25 may be applied to records obtained from hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers.  These charges apply to all entities authorized by the patient to receive the medical information.  If treatment information is stored in digital format, a patient may request the copies to be delivered in a digital format and be charged accordingly.  However, copying fees for digital records may not exceed $100, including postage and handling charges.  A provider must also provide a certification to indicate the completeness of the medical record upon a patient’s request.  If a hospital record is not complete, the copies must indicate the extent of the completeness of the record.   Each request for records submitted by a patient may only be subject to one handling charge, and separate requests for different types of records may not be divided by the provider. 

The individuals authorized above may also obtain copies of x-rays and other imaging media upon payment of reasonable copying costs and a handling charge of $20 for hospitals and $10 for other health care providers.  If these imaging media are maintained digitally, a patient may request digital copies, with fees charged in accordance with this law.  The charge for providing digital copies may not exceed $200 including handling and postage costs.  A provider must also provide a certification to indicate the completeness of the x-ray or imaging media upon a patient’s request.  If hospital x-rays or imaging media are not complete, the copies must indicate the extent of the completeness of the media.  Each request by a patient for x-rays or other imaging media may not be considered separate requests and are subject to only one handling fee, and the provider may not divide requests for different types of media. 

A provider must be given written notice of a violation of the access provisions regarding copies of medical records and copies of x-rays or other imaging media.  The provider must be given three days to correct the violation.  If the violation is based on a written communication by the provider and the provider’s address is given, the violation notice may be sent by certified mail or other carrier.  If the violation is not based on a written communication or no contact information is noted, the notice must be sent to the custodian of records of the health care provider.  If the violation is not corrected within 15 days of receipt of the notice, violations will be subject to a civil penalty of $500 per violation, plus attorneys fees and costs, payable to the requestor of the medical information.

The medical records must be provided to the patient or other requesting party within a reasonable time, not to exceed 15 days from the receipt of the written request.  If the record is not provided within 15 days, and the patient obtains the record through a court order or a subpoena duces tecum, the provider will be liable for the reasonable attorney’s fees and costs associated with obtaining the court order or subpoena.  However, this sanction will not be imposed unless the patient has notified the provider of his failure to provide the record by certified mail, and the provider fails to provide the records within 5 days of receipt of the notice.  Health care providers may not be held liable for complying with such a request or if they are unable to fulfill the request, unless due to their own gross negligence. 

A health care provider may deny access to the patient of his or her own record if the provider deems that access would be injurious to the health or safety of the patient or would endanger other individuals.

Medical or dental   records must be maintained by the health care  provider for at least 6 years from the date of the last treatment. 

Any person in a lab must report the test results of a patient to that patient if so requested.  If a facility does provide the test results to the patient, the facility must notify the health care provider that the results were provided to the patient.  Test results may be given to the patient upon verification of the patient’s identification.  Test results may be mailed to the patient if the patient has executed a HIPAA authorization form.  The patient may not sue a lab or facility for releasing test results in accordance with this law. 

 

 


Current as of June 2015