How long is a doctor required to keep medical records on a patient?
When can the records be destroyed?
State laws may require a health care provider keep a patient's medical records for a certain period of time. Under PA law, a doctor must keep a patient's medical record for at least 7 years after the last treatment date. The exception is for the medical records of a minor, those records must be kept until 1 year after the minor reaches the age of majority or for 7 years, whichever is longer. Similarly, hospitals must keep medical records for at least 7 years after a patient is discharged from the hospital. Hospital records of minors must be kept until age of majority plus 7 years. In practice, many health care providers keep their medical records longer. And for as long as those records are kept, a patient has a right to see them.
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