We're a facility with a policy that prohibits outside x-ray copying, but can copy x-ray films for a per sheet price.
The capacity of a medical provider or agent to internally duplicate x-rays 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 films themselves (see Evidence Code 1158).
Our policy stands as is, no outside copiers allowed.
Unfortunately, your facility is a business in the state of California and 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 films in court and pay the resulting litigation expenses.
We opened an appointment for a copy service that did not show. Are we accountable for following up on the copy service to reschedule?
No. 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 x-rays until the request is resolved.
How is our facility compensated for cooperating with an outside professional photocopier?
By law, we must provide for the facility $15.00 for each patient copied as a witness fee that reimburses the few moments taken for scheduling and pulling of film (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 and copy our x-rays. They do all of 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 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 similar to an open-lid copy machine or camera.
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