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Must I release Records when Patient Owes balance?

Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

March 13, 2018

 

 

 

Question:

Jennifer, 

Do I have to release a record to a patient who has requested, but when the patient also owes me money?

Thanks, Dr. P

Answer:

Yes.  To my knowledge, there are no situations where a doctor may maintain a "retaining lien"  on a record solely due to non payment - whether non payment for services or non payment for the record (which you are authorized to charge for).  OCR agrees - https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/faq/2065/is-a-health-care-provider-permitted-to-deny/index.html

Your lawyer on the other hand, is authorized to maintain your file if you don't pay.  Just another example of the Bar Association lobbying power. 


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