New HIPAA guidance reiterates patients’ right to access health information and clarifies appropriate fees for copies

New clarifications have just been released that give specific direction to medical practices and other healthcare providers on charging patients for medical records. HIPAA’s right of access is critical to enabling individuals to take ownership of their health and well-being, but this core right is rendered meaningless when individuals cannot afford to pay the fees. These new FAQs clarify that individuals can be charged only a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor and supplies associated with making the copy, whether on paper or in electronic form.