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Joint Memos of Support: Clarify and Simplify the Law Guiding Access to Medical Records

May 23, 2017


As civil legal aid and advocacy programs in New York State, we are faced on a daily basis with difficulties in obtaining a waiver of fee for medical records for our low income clients.  We spend hours each week on the phone with various medical providers seeking fee waivers that should be a matter of course.  Our clients themselves, and others who do not have representation, face even greater hurdles when attempting to obtain medical records critical to supporting their claims for government benefits.  The amendments eliminate the provision allowing the medical provider to evaluate and define indigence for a fee waiver.  In addition, they streamline the process for patients to access copies of records which, in turn, will reduce processing delays in claims for government benefits.

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