Office FAQ: Retaining Deceased Patients' Medical Records

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2013

Must physicians retain medical records of a deceased patient?

Yes, the physician licensing board retention requirements still apply regardless of whether the patient is deceased. Also, the physician may need the records to document care provided to the deceased or to defend a medical liability action brought by the patient's estate (a survival action) or the patient's dependents (wrongful death action). These actions generally must be brought within two years of the patient's death.

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