The Litigation of Rule 64B8-10.003 and Section 456.057 – Part II

Florida courts on medical record retrieval costs

As we mentioned before, Rule 64B8-10.003, Florida Administrative Code has been the subject of litigation since 2012 due to a series of class action lawsuits. In Part I of this post, we discussed the first 2 lawsuits – Allen v. Healthport Technologies, LLC and Webber v. Bactes Imaging Solutions, Inc. – and here, we’ll discuss the last lawsuit, which has some unique features worth noting.

The third class action, Mathews v. MD Now Medical Centers, Inc., is pending in Palm Beach County, which falls under the Fourth District Court of Appeal (Case No. 2013CA009428). While its causes of action mirror those of Allen and Webber, its defendants look a little different. Rather than a single release-of-information (ROI) company, the defendants in Mathews consist of multiple healthcare practitioners.

(Not to worry though – the ROI companies haven’t been left out entirely. Healthport Technologies has intervened in the Mathews case, and Bactes Imaging Solutions has moved to do so as well.)

In addition, the Mathews defendants have various medical specialties, which means they’re subject to other administrative rules that govern the fees they can charge for medical records. And to be honest, this is why we singled out this case – it gives us a good excuse to highlight these other rules. They may apply to your medical records requests more often than you think!

Do your clients treat with chiropractors? What about physical therapists? Do they see osteopathic physicians for injury treatment or primary care purposes? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re in luck. The rules that apply to these types of practitioners set forth only one rate that applies to all requesters (oh, the simplicity!), and it’s equal to what we’ve been calling the “patient rate” – $1.00 for the first 25 pages, and $0.25 for pages in excess of 25.

And if dental records just happen to be relevant to your clients’ claims, then you may get the benefit of the lowest rate we’ve seen in Florida – $0.15 per page!

While we’re on the subject of alternative laws on fees for medical records, we should mention another widely applicable one – Section 400.145, Florida Statutes. It applies to nursing homes, and it also limits fees to the “patient rate.”

Turning back to the Mathews case: it’s been stayed for several years while the Webber case has been pending, but we expect it’ll gain momentum soon, especially if the Florida Supreme Court declines to exercise jurisdiction over Bactes Imaging Solutions’ appeal.

We plan to stay on top of Mathews and report any noteworthy developments. In the meantime, check out our next post, especially if your clients have received medical care outside of Florida.

Disclaimer: The information provided through these blog posts does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available through these blog posts are for general informational purposes only.

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