Copy Fees for Mental Health Records

Q. Do Texas Medical Board rules regarding fees for copying medical records apply to mental health records as well?

A. TMA’s newly updated white paper on fees for copying medical records MembersOnlyRed addresses this question as well as several situations where special rules for charging for copies apply.

Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, if the patient requests a summary or narrative of mental health records, the mental health “professional” (which includes physicians) must respond or give the patient a written reason for a refusal to disclose. You must provide the patient a copy of any portion of the record you haven’t specifically denied him or her access to within a reasonable time, and you “may charge a reasonable fee.”

According to the white paper, it is unclear whether the Texas Medical Board (TMB) rules regarding fees for medical records generally apply to fees for copies of mental health records, specifically. The regulations do not mention this portion of the Health and Safety Code. Nonetheless, it may be prudent for physicians who are mental health “professionals” to follow the TMB rules in this area, the white paper says.

The white paper is one of a series on medical records  from TMA’s Office on General Counsel on the TMA Medical Records resource page. In addition, TMA’s publication, Managing Your Medical Records, addresses consent, release, privacy, and more under Texas law and HIPAA. 

NOTICE: Please check the Texas Medical Board Web site (www.tmb.state.tx.us) for current updates on its rules and policies with respect to this issue. The Texas Medical Association provides this information with the express understanding that (1) no attorney-client relationship exists, (2) neither TMA nor its attorneys are engaged in providing legal advice and (3) the information is of a general character. This is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. While every effort is made to ensure that content is complete, accurate and timely, TMA cannot guarantee the accuracy and totality of the information contained in this publication and assumes no legal responsibility for loss or damages resulting from the use of this content. You should not rely on this information when dealing with personal legal matters; rather legal advice from retained legal counsel should be sought.

Published Aug. 27, 2015

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Last Updated On

December 12, 2016

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