Transferring and Copying Medical Records
Transferring patient medical records is an important part of care coordination and documenting specific medical history and needs.
Providers can charge beneficiaries, as long as they are not active duty service members, a reasonable fee for copying medical records, provided the fee includes only the cost of:
- copying records including the cost of supplies for and labor of copying,
- postage when requesting to have the records mailed and
- preparing an explanation or summary of the protected health information if requested by the beneficiary.
Some important things to know about medical records under TRICARE:
- Active duty service members (ADSMs) must not be charged for medical record copying.
- Providers should submit a claim to Health Net Federal Services, LLC/PGBA, LLC to be reimbursed for photocopying and postal costs incurred.
- If an ADSM has been charged, the provider should reimburse the ADSM for the full amount paid to ensure he or she has no out-of-pocket costs.
- All other TRICARE beneficiaries can be billed by the provider for copying medical records.
- The beneficiary is responsible for paying photocopying and postal fees.
- Beneficiaries should request medical records in writing.
- If the request is for a family member over 18, each beneficiary or family member whose records are being requested will have to complete a release form.
- Generally, release of medical records is a 30-day process with a possible extension of 30 additional days if the records are held off-site.
- Please coordinate with any specialty care providers (for example, cardiologists, obstetricians, orthopedic surgeons) the beneficiary may have visited to facilitate transferring medical records.
Records can be forwarded directly to the beneficiary’s new health care provider, to a military hospital or clinic, or released directly to the beneficiary.