U.S. Rep. Bill Foster introduced legislation that would require health care providers to give patients access to their medical records at no cost once a year if they need them.
Foster said that the Medical Records Access Fairness Act is a “commonsense” bill that removes an unreasonable financial burden for patients. He said the bill would help prevent the prohibitive cost for patients with chronic diseases or complex medical histories, according to a news release.
“Americans’ health care should not be hindered by the cumbersome cost of accessing medical records,” Foster said. “Access to medical records is an essential part of ensuring patients get the best possible health care, but too often, the fees charged amounts to thousands of dollars.”
Foster’s office cited the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, which found fees that doctors’ offices may charge patients can impose an unnecessary financial burden that could adversely affect patients’ health.
A number of health care organizations support the bill, including the Chronic Disease Coalition, the National MS Society, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the American Cancer Society Action Network and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
A copy of the bill can be read on Foster’s congressional website.