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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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