Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I keep medical records?

Answer

The safest approach is to keep medical records indefinitely. However, if it is not possible to keep records indefinitely, the minimum time that records should be retained is:

  • 10 years from an adult patient’s last medical service
  • For minor patients, the later of 10 years from last medical service or age 25*
  • 10 years from the date of a patient’s death

Keep in mind that the Federal False Claims Act has a 10-year statute of limitations. It could be possible that destroying records prior to 10 years could leave a practitioner vulnerable to citations under the Act. 

* Each state has its own statute of limitations concerning the length of time a minor has to bring a claim after reaching the age of majority, and some states have their own regulations or statutes regarding records retention. Check with your state’s regulatory agency or licensing board, or your personal attorney, to determine whether your state has enacted specific laws and regulations.

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