APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JUDITH E. MCDONALD-BURKMAN, JUDGE ACTION NO. 11-CI-005884
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Acree, Chief Judge:
RENDERED: MAY 17, 2013; 10:00 A.M.
BEFORE: ACREE, CHIEF JUDGE; DIXON AND THOMPSON, JUDGES.
William C. Eriksen, P.S.C. d/b/a Eriksen Chiropractic Centers, appeals from a summary judgment granted by the Jefferson Circuit Court to Gruner & Simms, PLLC.
This appeal concerns the interpretation of Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 422.317(1), which provides as follows:
Upon a patient's written request, a hospital licensed under KRS Chapter 216B or a health care provider shall provide, without charge to the patient, a copy of the patient's medical record. A copying fee, not to exceed one dollar ($1) per page, may be charged by the health care provider for furnishing a second copy of the patient's medical record upon request either by the patient or the patient's attorney or the patient's authorized representative.
Gruner & Simms, PLLC, a law firm, filed a petition for declaratory relief in the Jefferson Circuit Court after Eriksen refused to provide Gruner with a free copy of one of its client's medical records. Eriksen's policy is outlined in a letter sent to one of Gruner's attorneys:
Pursuant to Kentucky statute, we provide our patients one free copy of their medical records. This one free copy of records is provided to our patients in order to enable them to educate themselves with regard to their medical history.
All other persons including attorneys and authorized representatives requesting records on behalf of an Eriksen Chiropractic patient must first notify us in writing by mailed letter that they agree to pay $1.00 per page in copying fees associated with tendering the patent's records. An invoice for these copying fees will be sent with the records after your letter agreeing to pay these fees for the specified patient is received by our office. Please be advised that due to the large volume of records requests received by our office, we cannot provide total records copying costs in advance.
Please tender a letter to the address above . . . agreeing to pay the copying fees associated with your records request in order to receive the records you desire. (Emphasis in original.)
Eriksen filed a counter-petition, presenting an alternative interpretation of the statute and also challenging its constitutionality.*fn1 The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of ...