House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Health Care & Wellness Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning requests for medical records to support an application for social security benefits.
Sponsors: Representative Sullivan.
Hearing Date: 1/18/17
Staff: Chris Blake (786-7392) and Alex Pearson (786-7291).
Under the federal Social Security Act, individuals with disabilities may be eligible for social security disability benefits. Applicants have the right to an administrative appeal and judicial review of the denial of these benefits. The Social Security Administration suggests an appealing applicant provide certain medical information, such as any medical report, form, or written statement related to the person’s disability.
The Uniform Health Care Information Act governs the disclosure of health care information by health care providers and their agents or employees in Washington. Health care providers may charge a reasonable fee for providing copies of health care records.
A "reasonable fee" is established in statute as 65 cents per page for the first 30 pages and 50 cents per page for any additional pages. A clerical fee of $15 may also be charged for searching and handling. The amounts must be adjusted every two years according to changes in the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the Secretary of Health. The current adjusted rates, as adopted in rule by the Secretary of Health, are $1.12 per page for the first 30 pages, 84 cents per page for all other pages, and a clerical fee of up to $25.
Summary of Bill:
Health facilities, health care providers, and health insurance issuers are required to provide, upon request by a patient, a person covered by a health plan, or his or her personal representative, one free copy of the person’s health care information if the person is appealing the denial of federal social security disability benefits. The person or his or her representative may request the information be provided in either paper or electronic format.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.