tci Outpatient Facility Coding Alert - 2014 Issue 2

Reader Question: HIPAA Supersedes Lesser State Retention Laws

Question: How long do we need to keep medical records? Iowa Subscriber Answer: The answer depends, in part, on your state’s laws. While you need to follow state laws when determining whether they can discontinue retaining a patient’s records, it’s important to keep in mind that you must hang onto the patient’s records for at least six years, according to HIPAA laws. If your state requires a period longer than that, you must extend the length of time to meet state laws, but six years is the federal minimum. HIPAA trumps your state laws if...

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