Frequently Asked Questions
Are hospital medical record fees regulated by the State?
Answer: Yes, Senate Bill 975 regulates hospitals
regarding the retrieval and copy fees of medical records. These fees
are changed yearly in response to the increase in the consumer price
index. Please visit TXHIMA.org for current fee statutes.
Are doctor's offices medical record copying fees regulated
by the State?
Answer: Technically, No. The Texas State
Board of Medical Examiners "advises" doctors as to the per page charge
they feel is reasonable but there is not a law that governs doctor's
office specifically. Also, the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
does not indicate what fee is reasonable for completion of a Written
Deposition and that is usually where the argument lies.
If you submit a subpoena for records, why do custodians continue
to ask for signed authorizations?
Answer: Many Medical Records custodians attend
seminars held by Medical Associations year round which tend to focus
on obtaining signed authorizations, in all instances for the release
of records. Although, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 509 & 510
(exceptions)) are very clear, they are subject to interpretation as
any other rule.
What is the waiver/notice period and how does it affect the
Answer: If you issue a Notice of Intention
to Take Deposition by Written Questions, there is a Notice period that
is required to allow all other counsel the opportunity to file Cross
Questions, Objections, etc. in response to your Notice. As the Rule
reads (TRCP 200.3), all responding counsel has ten days to file crosses
or objections to the notice. However, a Notice of Intention must be
served upon all parties and the witness at least twenty days before
the deposition can be taken (TRCP 200). The deposition can be taken
sooner only with an agreement by all parties (to waive the notice period).
That is why the waiver period is twenty days, although, other counsel
have ten of those days to file objections/cross-questions. In Federal
cases, the waiver/notice period is fourteen days but allowing an additional
three days for mailing or faxing of the Notice of Intention—so
seventeen total days. Obviously, this time delay can seriously affect
the ability to obtain records in a short period of time.
Admissible - A subpoena issued and served with a
deposition on written questions to prove up the records. No need to file
Inadmissible - A subpoena is issued and served with
a deposition on written questions w/ a business records Affidavit.
The deposition questions does not prove up the records; therefore,
the Affidavit must be filed 14 days prior trial.
By Authorization, with an Affidavit - The records
are secured via Authorization supplied by the Claimant. Basically,
we forward a request to the records custodian along with a business
records Affidavit; this must be filed 30-days prior to trial.