WSR 97-09-092

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

[Filed April 23, 1997, 9:40 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: Allowable fees for searching and duplicating medical records.

Purpose: The proposed changes adjust the fee that medical providers may charge for searching and duplicating medical records.

Other Identifying Information: The adjustment is based on the change in the consumer price index based on all consumers for the Seattle/Tacoma area for fiscal years 1996 and 1997. In addition, this rule has been rewritten to improve clarity.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 70.02.010(12) and 43.70.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 70.02.010(12).

Summary: The fees that providers can charge for searching and duplicating medical records cannot exceed .74 cents per page for the first thirty pages and .57 cents per page for all others. The clerical fee may not exceed seventeen dollars.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed rule allows providers to recoup the inflationary costs of providing this service. This adjustment is mandated to occur biennially, and the last update was July 1995.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Michelle Davis, 1112 S.E. Quince Street, Olympia, 98504, (360) 586-0342.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Health, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The rule increases the fees that medical providers may charge for searching and duplicating medical records. The fees are not to exceed .74 cents per page for the first thirty pages, .57 per page for all other pages, and clerical fees may not exceed $17. The increase is designed to assist providers in recouping the cost for maintaining, searching, and duplicating medical records.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The rule increases the fees that a provider may charge for searching and duplicating medical records, and the old text is rewritten to improve readability.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule is exempt under RCW 34.05.310(4), and therefore does not require a small business economic impact statement.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule is not a "legislatively significant rule," it does not subject individuals to penalties or sanctions, does not establish, alter or revoke a qualification or standard for licensure, and does not make significant amendment to a policy or regulatory program.

Hearing Location: Washington State Department of Health, First Floor Conference Room, 1102 S.E. Quince Street, Olympia, WA 98504, on June 2, 1997, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Michelle Davis by May 23, 1997, TDD (800) 833-6388.

Submit Written Comments to: Michelle Davis, Department of Health, 1112 Quince Street, Mailstop 7890, Olympia, WA 98504-7890, FAX (360) 586-0342, by May 29, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: June 3, 1997.

April 22, 1997

Bruce A. Miyahara

Secretary

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 95-20-080, filed 10/4/95, effective 11/4/95)

WAC 246-08-400 ((Searching and duplicating medical records.)) How much can a medical provider charge for searching and duplicating medical records? ((Effective July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1997, the "reasonable fee" defined in RCW 70.02.010(12) for duplicating or searching a record shall not exceed sixty-nine cents per page for the first thirty pages and fifty-three cents for all other pages. In addition, a clerical fee for searching and handling may be charged not to exceed sixteen dollars. However, where editing of records by a health care provider is required by statute and is done by the provider personally, the fee may be the usual and customary charge for a basic office visit.)) RCW 70.02.010(12) allows medical providers to charge fees for searching and duplicating medical records. The fees a provider may charge cannot exceed the fees listed below:

(1) Copying charge per page:

(a) No more than seventy-four cents per page for the first thirty pages;

(b) No more than fifty-seven cents per page for all other pages.

(2) Additional charges:

(a) The provider can charge a seventeen dollar clerical fee for searching and handling records;

(b) If the provider personally edits confidential information from the record, as required by statute, the provider can charge the usual fee for a basic office visit.

(3) This section is effective July 1, 1997, through June 30, 1999.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.70.040 and 70.02.101(12). 95-20-080, 246-08-400, filed 10/4/95, effective 11/4/95.]

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