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CMA On-Call: Retention of Medical Records

California regulations regarding retention of medical records in a physician’s office are a perennial hot topic in the California Medical Association (CMA) On-Call health law library. To ensure physicians understand their rights and obligations under the law, CMA published On-Call document #4005, “Retention of Medical Records,” which discusses major issues raised by the retention, abandonment, theft and destruction of medical or health insurance information and physician practice business records. Issues covered include statutory record retention requirements, the rules applicable to records abandoned in bankruptcy or otherwise, recommended retention periods, options for record management on the sale or closing of a medical practice, record destruction requirements, obligations for safeguarding patients’ personal information, and for responding when records containing identifying information are stolen or otherwise breached.

About CMA On-Call

On-Call is CMA's online health law library, which contains nearly 5,000 pages of legal information related to the practice of medicine. The searchable library contains all the information available in the California Physician's Legal Handbook, an annual publication of CMA's Center for Legal Affairs.

CMA On-Call documents are available free to members at Nonmembers can purchase On-Call documents for $2 per page.

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