When Hanceville resident Lana Marrs searched for her 15-year-old son’s medical records recently, she became frustrated.

She said she contacted her son’s pediatrician — the only pediatrician her son had ever seen— in hopes of obtaining the records, but was told the doctor was between jobs, and might start practicing again in another state. It seemed no one knew how to get in touch with the pediatrician, or how to get the information she requested. An investigator with the state Board of Medical Examiners — a state agency that has the exclusive authority to issue, revoke and reinstate all licenses to practice medicine or osteopathy in Alabama — said the physician is in good-standing with the state, and did nothing wrong by taking the records after leaving a place of employment.

Still, Marrs said others may share her frustration.

She said when she contacted the Priceville office of her son’s pediatrician, Dr. David Hill, she was told Hill no longer worked at that office, and there was no way to access her son’s medical information.

“One week he was there, and the next he was gone, and he apparently took all his records with him,” Marrs said. “When I called the clinic in Priceville, I said ‘so he left no records? You don’t have my son’s medical records? And she said ‘No. He took all of his records with him.”

Marrs said she then contacted the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce, and a receptionist there suggested contacting the state Board of Medical Examiners if attempts to locate the doctor through his former medical offices had been exhausted. Chamber President Kirk Mancer said the Chamber received one phone call from someone trying to obtain medical information who was unable to locate a doctor.

“It was not meant to be ‘hey, call the medical board because there’s an issue with this guy. It was just that from talking with this woman, everything else had been exhausted from her own comments, and then our receptionist just said ‘well I guess, if you’ve exhausted all those, maybe check with the state medical board,” Mancer said.

Ed Munson Jr., an investigator with the state Board of Medical Examiners, said physicians have a responsibility to provide medical information upon authorized release. Munson said he spoke with Marrs, and is working on getting the medical information she requested.

“She did get in touch with the right agency, and we are in the process of helping her secure that transfer as quickly as possible,” Munson said. “

Munson said by law, a medical provider can charge no more than $1 per page for the first 25 pages, 50 cents a page for each additional page, a $5 search fee, and an added fee for other costs like duplicating X-ray film, and postage or shipping.

“It’s up to the individual physician, clinic or hospital as to whether they charge,” Munson said.

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