Regulated fee schedule under the Health Information Act (HIA)

The HIA controls how individuals can access, correct or amend their own health information. Fees are set by HIA regulations for some related activities.

The patient to whom the information applies (or his/her legal representative) accesses a copy of the chart/record with a request under the authority of the HIA. Generally, the patient takes possession of the chart (i.e., this is not a transfer from one physician to another, which is an uninsured service not covered by the HIA regulated fees).

Physicians have 30 days to respond to access requests.

Regulated Fees for health information (Health Information Regulation Section 10)

  • 10(1) An applicant who makes a request for access to a record containing health information may be required to pay a basic fee of $25 for performing one or more of the following steps to produce a copy of the information: 
    • Receiving and clarifying the request.
    • Obtaining consent if necessary.
    • Locating and retrieving the records.
    • Preparing the record for copying, including removing staples and paper clips.
    • Preparing a response letter.
    • Packaging copies for shipping or faxing, or both.
    • Postage and faxing costs.
    • Photocopying a record.
  • Processing of a request will not commence until the basic fee has been paid, if applicable. 
  • In addition to the basic fee, additional fees in accordance with the Schedule may be charged for producing a copy of a record. 

Estimate of fees

An estimate provided under section 67(3) of the Act must set out: 

  • The time and cost required
    • To prepare the record for disclosure, including severing time.
    • To retrieve records from another location.
  • The cost of copying the record.
  • The cost of computer time involved in locating and copying a record or, if necessary, re-programming to create a new record.
  • The cost of supervising an applicant who wishes to examine the original record, when applicable.
  • The cost of shipping the record or a copy of the record, other than by mail or fax. 

An applicant has up to 20 days to indicate if the fee estimate is accepted or to modify the request to change the amount of fees assessed. 

Payment of fees

  • 12(1) Processing of a request ceases once a notice of estimate has been forwarded to an applicant and recommences immediately on the receipt of an agreement to pay the fee, and on the receipt of at least 50% of any estimated fee. 
  • The balance of any fee owing is payable at the time the information is delivered to the applicant.
  • Fees or any part of those fees will be refunded if the amount paid is higher than the actual cost of the service. 

Applicant excused from paying fee

  • 13 For the purposes of section 67(4) of the Act, a custodian may excuse an applicant from paying all or part of a fee if in the opinion of the custodian it is fair to excuse payment.

Schedule

The amount of the fees set out in this Schedule is the maximum amount that can be charged to applicants.

The following fees for producing a copy of a record may be charged if the cost of photocopying a record under section 10(1)(h) of this Regulation, calculated at $0.25 per page, exceeds $5, and then only the amount that exceeds $5 may be charged: 

  • Photocopies, hard copy laser print and computer printouts — $0.25 per page.
  • Paper copies from microfilm or microfiche — $0.50 per page.
  • Floppy disks — $10 each.
  • Computer tapes — $55 each.
  • Microfiche (diazo film) — $0.50 each.
  • 16 mm microfilm — $25 each.
  • 35 mm microfilm — $32 each.
  • Photographs from negative:
    • 4" x 5" — $10 each.
    • 5" x 7" — $13 each.
    • 8" x 10" — $19 each.
    • 11" x 14" — $26 each.
    • 18" x 20" — $32 each.
  • 35 mm slide — $2 each.
  • Audio cassette  — $5 each.
  • Video cassette:
    • 1/4", 1/2" or 8 mm — One hour, $20 each.
    • 1/4", 1/2" or 8 mm — Two hours, $25 each.
    • 3/4" — 30 minutes, $18 each.
    • 3/4" — One hour, $23 each.
  • Radiology film — $5 each.
  • Other media not listed above — Actual costs.
  • Supervision of applicant’s examination of original  records — $6.75 per 1/4 hour.
  • Severing time to determine whether a record requires severing, and to review and to identify the parts of the record to be severed:
    • Technician time — $6.75 per 1/4 hour to maximum of three hours.
    • Health services provider time — $45 per 1/4 hour to maximum of three hours.
  • Producing a record from an electronic record:
    • Computer processing — Actual costs.
    • Computer report generation — $10 per 1/4 hour.
  • Other direct costs:
    • Charges to retrieve records or to return records, or both, from another location — Contracted fee or average past costs.
    • Courier charges or delivery charges, or both, to send copies to applicant other than by mail or fax — Actual cost.

For more information regarding the fees associated with requests to access records, please contact:
Alberta Health HIA Help Desk
Toll-free: Dial 310-0000 and then 780.427.8089.

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.