Abandoned Aircraft

Getting medical records for Social Security disability – Part 4

So, how much is it going to cost me to get my medical records?

The cost of obtaining medical records differs from state to state. In Colorado, where my practice is located, doctors’ offices are supposed to charge no more than the “reasonable cost” of providing the records.

In 2015, the colorado legislature changed the law and removed the provision about putting caps on what the “reasonable cost” of records should be. I have written about this here

This means YOU are going to be asked to get more of your medical records. Why? With the cap taken off maximum record charges, the expenses in Social Security disability cases are going to be going up. And since the fees attorney can charged are fixed by Social Security, costs are rising but the fees are staying the same.

Well, boo-hoo for the lawyers! /eye-roll.

Yeah, I get it and I don’t expect sympathy. However, when costs go up, how business is done changes.  Lawyers have often bankrolled cases and hoped they could win and then, finally, recover those costs. Now, to you, dear client, that has meant a zero interest loan, and possibly no need to pay it back if you didn’t win.

You are not going to see a lot of than anymore. Not only are costs up. But, Social Security is approving much fewer cases. This tips the scales to toward even more belt tightening in law offices.

The upshot for you is that you will be asked to get your own records and foot the bill if your doctor wants to charge.

If there is a silver lining to this dark cloud, it is that your doctors’ offices are less likely to charge you than if they get a medical records request on legal stationary. So, you may have to do more footwork – and I know that for many of you that will not be easy – but at least you are keeping your overall costs down.

Under Colorado law, the “reasonable cost” is $14.00 for pages 1-10, $0.50 per page for pages 11-40, and $0.33 for every page after that. Plus postage.
So, it all comes down to the number of pages of records you are requesting. If you are requesting 60 pages of records, the cost would be as follows:

  • $14.00 for pages 1-10
  • $15.00 for pages 11-40
  • $6.60 for pages 41-60

GRAND TOTAL: $35.60 for 60 pages before postage charges. (Now you know why being a medical records copier is lucrative business).

Ok, but you do not request medical records by the page. No one says ‘give me 60 pages of my file.’

True enough. When my office requests medical records, we do it by how far back we are requesting records and the types of records we are requesting. This will be the topic of the next (thrilling) installment.