All Individual US states have specific retention requirements that should be used to establish the hospital/ physician’s patient records retention policy. Refer to your state laws for state-specific record retention requirements by using this link below provided by HealthIT.gov which details the conditions for record retention.
In the absence of specific state requirements, providers should keep health information for at least the period specified by the state’s statute of limitations or for a sufficient length of time for compliance with laws and regulations. If the patient is a minor, the provider should retain health information until the patient reaches the age of majority (as defined by state law) plus the period of the statute of limitations. A longer retention period is prudent, since the statute may not begin until the potential plaintiff learns of the causal relationship between an injury and the care received.
Most healthcare organizations understand that records must be retained for HIPAA purposes for six years from the date of its creation or the date it was last in effect. BUT the fact is that each state determines the laws for its jurisdiction. The length of time states require records to be retained varies from as short as five years to as long as ten.
For states requiring less than six years, health organizations must still retain HIPAA information for six years. A variety of factors impact medical record retention regulations. They vary depending on the type of patient with different rules for adults and minors. For patients under 18, the records must be retained for a specified length of time after the age of majority. Some states, such as Oklahoma and New York, have requirements for records of deceased patients as well. Certain states also have differing laws for medical practices and hospitals. It is important to note that accrediting agencies also have separate regulations that health organizations should understand and follow.
Santeware can help your organization in various ways to retain the records keeping all HIPAA regulations intact. For more information, please contact us.