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Foster Introduces Medical Records Access Fairness Act

Oct 16, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced the Medical Records Access Fairness Act, which would require health care providers to give patients access to their medical records at no cost once per year if they need them. According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, fees that doctor offices may charge patients can impose an unnecessary financial burden on patients who request them, potentially affecting patient care adversely. Patients who have long medical histories can incur costs of thousands of dollars depending on the fees associated with medical record copies. The study also describes a situation in which one patient was charged over $100 for an electronic copy.

“Americans’ health care should not be hindered by the cumbersome cost of accessing medical records,” said Rep. Foster. “Access to medical records is an essential part of ensuring patients get the best possible health care, but too often, the fees charged amounts to thousands of dollars. These fees can quickly become prohibitive, especially for patients with chronic diseases or complex medical histories. This common-sense bill would allow patients to better access their medical records, removing an unreasonable financial burden and improving the health and well-being of many Americans.”

The Medical Records Access Fairness Act is supported by the Chronic Disease Coalition, the National MS Society, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Text of the legislation is available here.