Can a doctor deny medical records due to an unpaid balance?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a doctor deny medical records due to an unpaid balance?

I have an unpaid balance at my child’s doctors office because it went to collections they will no longer see her which I was never told about I found a new doctor and they told me they will only release her immunization records and not her medical records until balance is paid in full can they does this? She needs her 12 month check up.

Asked on February 6, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

They may NOT refuse to provide your medical records because of an unpaid balance. If they continue to insist on you paying off the balance, contact the state agency or board licensing doctors to file a complaint.
The are allowed to charge you for the cost of providing the records: e.g. the cost of the staff time or labor to make copies and send to you; the cost of the copies; and postage, if applicable. They do not have to spend their own money giving you your records.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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