Section 12CC. A health care provider who maintains records for a patient treated or examined by such provider shall permit inspection of such records by such patient or an authorized representative of the patient, and upon request a copy of such patient’s record shall be furnished upon payment of a reasonable fee, as defined in section 70 of chapter 111 available to such patient or such representative except that no health care provider shall charge a fee any applicant, beneficiary or individual representing said applicant or beneficiary for furnishing a health record to such patient or such representative if the record is requested for the purpose of supporting a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act or any federal or state financial needs-based benefit program. A health care provider shall furnish a health record requested pursuant to a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act or any federal or state financial needs-based benefit program within thirty days of the request. Any person for whom no fee shall be charged shall present reasonable documentation at the time of such records request that the purpose of such request is to support a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act or any federal or state financial needs-based benefit program. For purposes of this section, “health care provider” shall mean a person or entity providing medical care or services, including but not limited to, physicians and surgeons, therapists, dentists, nurses, optometrists, chiropractors, psychologists, and podiatrists.
For purposes of this section, in the case of a psychotherapist the term “records” in this section shall mean, at the discretion of the psychotherapist, the patient’s entire record maintained by such psychotherapist or a summary of the patient’s record. If in the reasonable exercise of his professional judgement, the psychotherapist believes providing the entire record would adversely affect the patient’s well-being, in such instances, the psychotherapist shall make a summary of the record available to the patient. If a patient requests the entire record, notwithstanding a determination that providing said record is deemed to adversely affect the patient’s well-being, the psychotherapist shall make the entire record available to either the patient’s attorney, with the patient’s consent, or to such other psychotherapist as designated by the patient. For the purpose of this section the word “psychotherapist” shall mean any person defined as such by section twenty B of chapter two hundred and thirty-three or licensed pursuant to section eighty-four of chapter thirteen.