DOH Issues a New Abandoned Medical Records Alert

Friday, July 24, 2015
By Michael L. Smith, R.R.T., J.D., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law


The Florida Department of Health is experiencing an increase in the number of reports regarding abandoned medical records. In an effort to curb this trend, The Florida Board of Medicine has issued an alert to educate doctors regarding the retention and disposition of medical records. To see the DOH alert, click here.


Maintenance and Retention of Medical Records.


The Board of Medicine and the Legislature recognize the need for maintenance and retention of medical records in order to protect and serve patients. For that reason, the Legislature has directed The Board to promote rules setting standards that will provide a minimum requirement for retention and disposition of patient records of deceased practitioners and practitioners relocating and terminating practice. The minimum requirement by law and regulation is five years from the last patient encounter or claim. However, some specialists, such as pediatricians and OB/GYNs, may desire to maintain them for longer due to liability issues.


Physicians Should Retain Records as Long as Needed.
 
Rule 64B8-10.002, F.A.C. sets forth standards which if not met will constitute a violation of Section 456.058, Florida Statutes, and will subject the physician to disciplinary proceedings by the DOH. Physicians should retain records as long as needed, not only to serve and protect patients, but also to protect themselves against adverse actions. To see The Florida Board of Medicine rule, click here. For other information on physician medical records requirements, click here.


Comments

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About the Authors: Michael L. Smith, R.R.T., J.D., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.


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7/24/2015

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