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Medical Records

Allowable charges for copying records

State law [K.S.A. 65-4971(b)] which required the Secretary of Labor to annually adjust the maximum fees that may be charged for non-workers compensation medical records copying, was repealed by the 2011 Kansas Legislature. Without any state guidelines, federal law governs the establishment of copying charges.

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Documentation requirements

One of the most important issues facing physician practices relates to the documentation of treatment/services. Often, medical record documentation is the best defense in liability suites. Medical records are used to: indentify the provider and the location of services provided; determine medical necessity; and claim accuracy.

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Electronic Medical Records

  • Patient records may be stored by an electronic data system, microfilm, or similar photographic means. A licensee may destroy original paper records stored in this manner if the stored record can be reproduced without alteration from the original. K.A.R. 100-24-2(b)
  • Paper records may be destroyed once they are entered into an electronic record, if the electronic record is an exact replication of the information of the paper record, and the record can be reproduced in paper form from the electronic record if requested. K.A.R. 100-24-2(b), (c).

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Requirements for retention of records

  • Physicians must keep medical records for ten (10) years from the date of last treatment. This includes minors and deceased patients. K.A.R. 100-24-1
  • Hospitals must keep medical records for a period of ten (10) years after the date of the last discharge of the patient, or one (1) year beyond the date the minor patient reaches the age of majority, whichever is longer. K.A.R. 28-34-9a

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Storage of medical records

Physicians are not required to keep inactive charts on site. A physician may designate an entity, another physician, or health care facility to maintain the record so long as the record is stored in a manner that allows access to the record and maintains confidentiality. K.A.R. 100-24-2(a)

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Transfer of records

According to K.S.A. 65-2837, it is “unprofessional conduct” for a physician to fail to transfer records to another licensee when requested to do so by a patient or his or her representative. Therefore, if a patient requests medical records be copied and sent to another health care professional, the records should be copied and sent without waiting for payment from the patient. The patient may be billed for the copies, but delivery of the records to another health care professional should not be delayed. A provider should not condition the furnishing of records upon payment of copying charges.

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