Health Information Management

Q&A: Retention of medical records

HIM-HIPAA Insider, May 18, 2009

Q. Where can I find the HIPAA standard for retention of medical records and billing information?

The HIPAA privacy rule does not provide specific requirements for the retention of medical or billing records. HIPAA requires covered entities to retain documentation for six years, but many states have longer retention periods for these records. Be sure to check state licensure standards for your type of healthcare organization/practice to determine the retention requirements for your state.

Editor’s note: Mary Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, president of Bellaire, TX-based Brandt & Associates, LLC, answered this question. This is not legal advice. Consult your attorney for legal matters.

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