|(a) Release of records pursuant to request. Upon the
request of the client or their authorized representative, the veterinarian
shall furnish a copy of the patient records, including a copy of any
radiographs requested, within 15 business days of the request or in
accordance with subsection (f) of this section, unless a longer period
is reasonably required to duplicate the records. If a longer period
is necessary and prior to the 15 business day deadline, the veterinarian
must inform the client in writing how long it will take to furnish
the records and why production of the records is delayed. The records
must be provided no later than 30 calendar days after the request.
If the records are requested for acute/emergency care, the veterinarian
must provide the records immediately and no later than one business
(b) Contents of records. For purposes of this section,
"patient records" shall include those records as defined in §573.52
of this title (relating to Veterinarian Patient Record Keeping).
(c) Allowable charges. The veterinarian may charge
a reasonable fee for this service and, in non-emergency and non-acute
situations, may withhold the records until such payment is received.
A reasonable fee shall include only the cost of:
(1) copying, including the labor and cost of supplies
(2) postage, when the individual has requested the
copy or summary be mailed; and
(3) preparing a summary of the records when appropriate.
(d) Improper withholding for past due accounts. Patient
records requested pursuant to a proper request for release may not
be withheld from the client, the client's authorized agent, or the
client's designated recipient for such records based on a past due
account for care or treatment previously rendered to the patient.
(e) The veterinarian shall be entitled to the reasonable
fee prior to the release of the records unless the information is
requested by another veterinarian or his or her agent for purposes
of emergency or acute medical care.
(f) The veterinarian must notify the requestor of records
the amount of the reasonable fee within five (5) business days of
the request. Once the veterinarian receives written or verbal notice
from the requestor that the requestor accepts the reasonable fee and
will pick up the records, the veterinarian must have the records copied
and ready for delivery within ten (10) business days of receiving
|Source Note: The provisions of this §573.54 adopted to be effective June 14, 2012, 37 TexReg 4229; amended to be effective May 4, 2015, 40 TexReg 2419; amended to be effective November 22, 2015, 40 TexReg 8027