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    My patient’s law firm sues over medical record copy fees. Can I win?

    David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D.Dr. Doc practices in a small town. His patient filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against him simultaneously with his attorney demanding a copy of Dr. Doc’s medical records. The law firm had a previous copy of the medical records because the plaintiff patient had requested them a year ago and then passed them onto the suing lawyer. Dr. Doc is annoyed that he now has to send the records a second time and discusses this with his friend, a local pharmacist. His friend says that, while he knows there are rules related to fees that offices can charge for sending medical records, his pharmacy charges whatever it wants.

    Related topic: Patient sues over medical record copy fees

    The lawsuit

    Dr. Doc sends a bill to the attorney for $50/page of the 100-page medical record. His bill stipulates that the expenses are for research and preparation of files, clerical expenses, photocopying expenses, and postage and handling. The law firm pays the full $5,000, and Dr. Doc promptly sends the records. As soon as the law firm gets the medical records, it sues Dr. Doc for charging too much. Dr. Doc reports this second lawsuit to his medical malpractice carrier, who tells him he is not covered for such a lawsuit. Dr. Doc has to hire a second lawyer to defend him in this case. The second lawyer requires a $10,000 retainer and informs him that the defense of such a case may cost him in excess of $100,000. Dr. Doc is understandably upset. What is he to do?

    NEXT: A Similiar case

    GoldbergDavid.jpg
    David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D.
    Dr. Goldberg is Director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, Director of Mohs Surgery and laser research, ...

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