Is it a crime for a medical clinic to destroy personal medical records.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it a crime for a medical clinic to destroy personal medical records.

A clinic to whom I provided
personal records provided to me by
the Veterans Administration were
purposely destroyed without my
consenting forewarned of action.

Asked on November 27, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Nevada


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unless some form of fraud or the like was involved in the destruction of your records, then it is a civil matter. That having been said, typically state and federal laws regarding record retention mandates apply to hospitals or similar facilities rather than to physician practices. Federal law includes HIPAA privacy regulations which require records to be retained for 6 years from when that the record was created and The Medicare Conditions of Participation (COP) requires hospitals to retain records for 5 years. As for specific state statutes, you can consult directly with a local attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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