Medical Records Charge: FSA Eligibility
Revenue Ruling 71-282
What are medical records charges?
Medical records charges are expenses charged by a records company, doctor's office, or hospital for various tasks related to medical records. Medical records charges may be used for making photocopies, transferring records, mailing records, reproduction of X-rays and other diagnostic films, etc.
Medical records charges are reimbursable with a consumer-directed healthcare account.
Medical records charges fall under specific state-by-state guidelines. Some states allow records-holders to charge by page, to levy search fees, charge for postage, individual copies of diagnostic fees, and so on. Other states simply legislate that "reasonable fees" may be charged. Regardless of the fee structure in a given state, the expenses related to obtaining or copying medical records are eligible for reimbursement (MediCopy).
Medical records charges exist to offset the cost of human labor and materials involved in locating a patient's records and copying the necessary information. Additionally, special considerations are usually required when mailing medical records, and the materials required to copy diagnostic films such as X-rays and MRIs is also a non-negligible expense. The costs associated with medical records search, copy, transfer, etc. are levied in part to limit medical records requests made by patients and offset the cost of productivity within the doctor's office or hospital administration (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
Medical records charge guidance is issued by the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Civil Rights is tasked to interpret the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and to enforce HIPAA regulations by sanctioning and fining institutions that fail to follow regulations. The Office of Civil Rights also determines which components of requesting medical records, reviewing those requests, and fulfilling those requests may be charged against.