Frequent Questions

Can a facility enforce a policy that prohibits outside copying if they can produce records themselves.

The capacity of a medical provider or agent to internally duplicate records is an instrumental service for many larger facilities. However, California law overrides any opposing private business policy – and the attorney-requested professional photocopier stated in the subpoena must duplicate the records themselves (see Evidence Code 1158).

Our policy stands as is, no outside copiers allowed.

Because the facility is a business in the state of California they must abide by state law and the Evidence Codes that pertain. Most facilities pleasantly cooperate without a problem. The few who fail to cooperate are issued a separate subpoena requiring the department to present the original documents in court and pay the resulting litigation expenses.

Who is responsible for scheduling and following up on appointments with facilities?

Copy services are responsible for maintaining the appointments made by custodians – and must notify the custodian of any absence or tardiness to reschedule.  However, the custodian must maintain the subpoena and records until the request is resolved.

How is a facility compensated for cooperating with an outside professional photocopier?

By law, we must provide the facility a check of $15.00 for each patient copied as a witness fee that reimburses the few moments taken for scheduling and pulling the requested records (see Evidence Code 1158 and Evidence Code 1563(b)(6)). That’s actually the maximum fee allotted by the state (aside from third-party storage retrieval fees which may also apply).

We employ a third-party agent (such as SmartCopy) to maintain & copy our records. They do all our copying.

Because the requesting attorney has hired a professional photocopier, no copying may be performed by any medical provider or agent thereof (see Evidence Code 1158).  Unless requested directly from a professional photocopier or law firm, internal copying is not even an option!

We are concerned about possible damage to our original x-rays in the copying process.

We have never damaged a single x-ray – this is nearly impossible unless forced through a shredder or deliberately mishandled.  In fact, the equipment used is non-feeding – utilizing portable Spectroline scanning equipment that works similarly to an open-lid copy machine or camera.

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