Some Colorado Lawmakers Say You Shouldn’tBy CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) – In the digital age, you would think getting a copy or your medical record would be no problem. Some Coloradans are being charged thousands of dollars for something that, by law, belongs to them.

Some state lawmakers are now stepping in. They say, in many cases, it’s the people least able to access their records who are being charged the most. They include people injured in accidents or victims of medical malpractice who have hired attorneys.

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While federal law caps what medical records companies can charge patients, it doesn’t limit what they charge those patients’ attorneys. Lesley Humphrey says it should.

“It’s just been so frustrating and upsetting.”

A cancer patient at Sky Ridge Medical Center, Humphrey has enough to worry about. The last thing she needs is more stress, and she never imagined getting a copy of a medical record would be something stressful.

“Why is it so hard for me to get my medical records? I thought, by law, I have access to my records. I should be able to get my records.”

She says her attorney should also be able to access her records for her.

While the medical records company told her it would cost $248, it billed her attorney, Lorraine Parker, more than $1,000.

“They pretend like we’re some other entity that they can charge thousands of dollars to, but the money comes out of our client’s pockets.”

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A bill by Representatives Lindsey Daugherty and Kevin Van Winkle aims to change that. It would cap how much medical records could charge patients and their attorneys at $150 to $250 depending on how big the record is.

Parker says that’s still a lot to pay for records that in most cases are electronic.

“All I have to do is send a secure link electronically or download to them to a CD. It appears to us they’re trying to make patient records a profit center.”

Humphrey eventually got her record after a year-long ordeal.

“It’s crazy to me how difficult it is, and it’s such a simple thing.”

Initially, the bill would have set the caps at the federal limits which start at $6.50 for electronic records and are adjusted up for paper copies. Sponsors amended the bill at the request of medical records companies and hospitals.

It passed the House Health and Insurance Committee unanimously.

Shaun Boyd