How do I obtain my personal medical records without going through the hospital since they charge?

Try Through ur PCP. It is not unusual to charge for medical records. You can check with your state medical board for the fees allowed. You can also try obtaining the records via your pcp.
Odd to expect free. I suppose you expect pay if you work. Even your attorney would have to pay the processing and retrieval fee for records if they were reviewing them for any reason. They are not your property. They belong to the hospital as a record of what was done. You have a legal right to sit and examine records if you choose or obtain copies of the information for the customary retrieval fees.
You can't. There is a nominal fee for medical records depending on the number of pages. If you need medical records from hospital, you have to go thro dept of medical records in the hospital.