Medical records cannot be withheld because of past-due bills

PLANT CITY, Fla. - Boys will be boys, and 11-year-old Shawn Kushmer-Everson is no different.

Shawn's upper front teeth sustained serious damage in a trampoline accident.  He required multiple trips to dentists and a periodontist.

But in the middle of it all, a switch in insurance carriers forced his mother, Jessica Everson, to find a new dentist.

She said the original dentist would not turn over her son medical records until she paid a past due balance of less than $100.

However, Florida Statute 456.057 makes it illegal for a physician to withhold records for non-payment of a bill.

ABC Action News emailed a copy of the law to Shawn's former dentist.

Two days later, Shawn's new doctor confirmed they had received both records and X-rays.

The Department of Health says they work quickly to resolve such issues. If you or someone you know is dealing with a similar situation, you can file a complaint with the state by visiting http:// www.doh.state.fl.us/ mqa/enforcement/ enforce_home.html .

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