§16-29-2. Reasonable expenses to be reimbursed.

     (a) A person requesting records from a provider shall place the request in writing and pay a reasonable, cost-based fee, at the time of delivery. Notwithstanding any other section of the code or rule, the fee shall be based on the provider's cost of: (1) Labor for copying the requested records if in paper, or for placing the records in electronic media; (2) supplies for creating the paper copy or electronic media; and (3) postage if the person requested that the records be mailed.

     If a person requests or agrees to an explanation or summary of the records, the provider may charge a reasonable cost-based fee for the labor cost if preparing the explanation or the summary; for the supplies for creating the explanation or summary; and for the cost of postage, if the person requested that the records be mailed. If the records are stored with a third party or a third party responds to the request for records in paper or electronic media, the provider may charge additionally for the actual charges incurred from the third party.

     (b) The labor for copying under this section shall not exceed twenty-five dollars per hour and shall be adjusted to reflect the consumer price index for medical care services such that the base amount shall be increased by the proportional consumer price index in effect as of October of the calendar year in which the request was made, rounded to the nearest dollar.

     (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a provider shall not impose a charge on an indigent person or his or her authorized representative if the medical records are necessary for the purpose of supporting a claim or appeal under any provisions of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §301 et seq.

     For purposes of this section, a person is considered indigent if he or she:

     (1) Is represented by an organization or affiliated pro bono program that provides legal assistance to indigents; or

     (2) Verifies on a medical records request and release form that the records are requested for purposes of supporting a Social Security claim or appeal and submits with the release form reasonable proof that the person is financially unable to pay full copying charges by reason of unemployment, disability, income below the federal poverty level, or receipt of state or federal income assistance.

     (d) Any person requesting free copies of written medical records pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section is limited to one set of copies per provider. Any additional requests for the same records from the same provider shall be subject to the fee provisions of subsection (a).