A law in South Carolina would limit the amount providers in the state can charge patients for receiving a copy of their electronic medical record (EMR).
The bill was introduced in the South Carolina House of Representatives last week and would limit providers to charing a per page rate of 10 cents. Currently, the law sets the rate at 65 cents per page. This rate, which has a rate of 50 cents per page after the first 30 pages, was enacted by the South Carolina Physicians' Patient Records Act in 1992.
The new bill, which is said to have support in the State's House of Representatives, would impose a maximum rate of $150 for a digital copy of their medical record and $250 for a hard copy. There would also be a clerical fee of $20 for producing the record. It was introduced by South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell who said it was ridiculous that hospitals could still charge patients 65 cents per page. If it passes the House, it must get approval by the Senate and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to become law.
The rate is similar to other states, such as Vermont, which requests its patients pay 50 cents per page. A report commissioned by the State of Vermont found that the State of Rhode Island has the highest rates at $2.00 per page, while California has the lowest at 10 cents per page. A few states, like Idaho and Alaska, do not regulate these prices.