If a patient has an outstanding balance and is transferring to a new dentist, does the treating dentist have to transfer dental records upon request, or can he or she withhold the records until the outstanding balance is paid?

According to Title 49 Pa Code §33.209,..."within 30 days of receipt of a written request, an exact copy of the patient's written dental record, along with copies of radiographs and orthodontic models, if requested, shall be furnished to the patient or to the patient’s new dentist. This service shall be provided either gratuitously or for a fee reflecting the cost of reproduction." The obligation to transfer records exists irrespective (regardless) of a patient's unpaid balance for dental services or for the cost of reproducing the record.



Answer is informational only and not intended as legal advice. Answer may contain excerpts from
 The ADA Practical Guide to Frequently Asked Legal Questions.