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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for those of you following my issue with the first OBGYN I visited. I was just sent a letter saying that I owe the office $23.08 to have my records transferred to the new office. They will not send my records until I pay them. My records only consist of a pap smear and my vital signs that were taken that day. The new office had told me that my insurance would not pay for a second pap smear. So what do I do? Do I just suck it up and pay that horrible office that I hate $23.08 to get my records released? Or do I just not get them transferred over? I thought that the records would be transferred for free but the letter I received says that the charge is "consistent with state law (Public Act 92-228). So I am charged a $20 handling fee, plus $0.77 per page. I received a letter in the mail from the office that my pap smear was "within normal limits".

So what do I do?

ETA: It seems that all hospitals in IL charge this fee. The new office I'm at told me they charge for records as well. So I will be having the records transferred to me and I will bring them into the new office at least this way I have a copy for myself.

Thanks!

Kristen
 

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I wouldn't pay that. You don't need a second pap anyway. Just refuse the second pap with your new provider. Take the paper you received in the mail to your new provider and that should be sufficient.

Yearly pap smears/pelvic exams aren't actually necessary or recommended anymore if you have had a few clear paps in a row. Depending on who's recommending, it's somewhere between every 2-5yrs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for responding Tika! I was just on the phone with the old office when you left your message. I was about to pay to have my records sent to me but then I just asked if a nurse could call me back and just tell me what the results of my pap were and what I was tested for. I think that information should be sufficient enough. Now I just hope someone actually calls me back. I swear every person in that office that I have spoken with is just plain rude to me.

Thanks so much!

Kristen
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by coffeetastesgood
You know whats in your records, so you don't need them. Especially not for $28. Just have your new careprovider document what your test results were and leave it at that. If they don't trust you with that then they suck

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You can always have your current provider request the records. They can probably provide you with a release form to sign which they will fax over to the old provider. Doctors do not normally charge other doctors for copies of patient records.

Then, if you wish, keep a copy of your records for yourself. At every visit ask that the day's notes and lab results (if any) be photocopied on your way out. The receptionist will usually just copy them and hand them over no charge. The charge comes from the fact that many offices hire out copy companies to come in and do it for them. How that gets around HIPAA I have no idea, but whatever.
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If your records only consist of the one pap smear and "vitals" taken on one day, I wouldn't pay it, either (like PP said). It is common for offices to charge...I was charged a flat $20 fee to get copies of my records when I switched midwife practices, but I figured it was a small price to pay to get them out of my life for good!


When I used to work for an OB/GYN I think we charged $5 to mail them to the patient, to cover our expenses (after all, they are paying someone to make those copies and for the upkeep of the copier...), but it was free to fax them directly to another care provider. Is that an option for you?
 

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This common practice of asking for a payment for medical records it totally illegal. I used to work in the medical records dept of a hospital, and had to learn all the applicable laws. The records are technically YOUR property, not the doctors. You can actually take the entire file for yourself, and THEY have to request to make copies of it for their records. If you tell them this fact, they will usually back off.

Melanie
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mavournin
You can always have your current provider request the records. They can probably provide you with a release form to sign which they will fax over to the old provider. Doctors do not normally charge other doctors for copies of patient records.

Then, if you wish, keep a copy of your records for yourself. At every visit ask that the day's notes and lab results (if any) be photocopied on your way out. The receptionist will usually just copy them and hand them over no charge. The charge comes from the fact that many offices hire out copy companies to come in and do it for them. How that gets around HIPAA I have no idea, but whatever.
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I signed a release form and that's when I received the letter saying that they won't release the records to my new office unless I pay them first.
I'm still waiting on a nurse to call me back to give me the information I need about my pap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm on the verge of crying, happy crying I guess. I called the old office yet again and this time I just pressed, "0" instead of trying to figure out who I was suppose to talk to. I demanded that I come and pick up my files since it was my property. I did this in a stern but nice way. I was transferred to the nicest woman in that office! She said that they can charge me for the records and I cannot just pick them up however she went and grabbed my file and told me there was basically nothing there and asked what I needed to know. I just asked her to know what I was tested for and she said I just had a plain pap smear and I wasn't tested for anything else. She also said my results were normal.
So armed with this information I can now tell my midwives group. The midwife I saw had asked if I was tested for any diseases. Do I have to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases? Or is this an optional test? I really don't want another pap unless absolutely necessary. I also don't want to be charged out of pocket for having another pap done.

Thanks for all the help!

Kristen
 

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Not from your ddc but wanted to post. In some states, like the one I'm in (TX), it's the law that you have to be tested for std's.... especially if you're filing through an insurance company. I don't think it's classified as a yearly pap, it's an std culture for pregnancy, so more than likely your insurance will pay it. Just tell the midwife's office not to test for cell abnormality (i.e. pre-cancer or cancerous cells). If it's just the gonorrhea/syphilis/chlamydia culture it should be covered. Also, they can check for all of those except chlamydia by simply drawing your blood.
As for the medical transcripts, here in TX they are considered the patient's property and all we have to do is have another doctor's office request them... of course, we have to sign a release. It doesn't cost anything here.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had my blood drawn so I guess most of those will be covered. I guess I'll have to wait for my next midwife visit to see what is required and what isn't. I'm assuming since they asked if I was tested for sexually transmitted diseases, it must be required in IL.

Kristen
 
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