Making Copies: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge as to Proper Method for Calculating Cost of Copying Medical Records

Author: Marc L. Penchansky

Pennsylvania’s Medical Record Act addresses the medical record request process. The Act requires the records holder to provide to the requestor the “estimated actual and reasonable expenses of reproducing the charts and records.” 42 Pa.C.S. § 6152(a)(1). The Act further lists acceptable prices that the medical care providers or their designees may charge for searching, retrieving and copying those records. See id. at 6152(a)(2)(i). If a plaintiff suspects a violation of the Act, he may bring a breach of contract claim for violations of this Act.

The law firm of Chiurazzi & Mengine, LLC filed several class action suits against medical facilities alleging that these facilities charged plaintiffs an amount in excess of the maximum charges permitted by the Act. The law firm did not allege that the charges exceeded the statutory cap set by the Act but alleged that the charges exceed what were the actual and reasonable expenses of reproducing the medical records. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently agreed to hear one of the class action suits. Among the issues designated for appeal was the following:

Does the Medical Records Act [MRA], 42 Pa.C.S. § 6152(a)(1) and (a)(2)(i), require medical records reproducers to disclose their estimated actual and reasonable expenses of reproducing the charts or records, and to limit their copying charges to these amounts or the statutory ceiling rates, whichever is less. See Wayne M. Chiurazzi Law Inc., et al. v. MRO Corporation, 1 WAP 2012.

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