Obtaining Medical Records
If patients need to procure copies of their medical records, they should realize they have the legal right to do so. The state of Maryland has set the charge that a prospective plaintiff in such a case may be charged in order to obtain these copies. There is a preparation fee to be paid, in addition to a per-page fee for copying, and a postage fee. In many instances, the medical records will not be released to the patient unless the copying and posting fees are paid first. However, the medical office is prohibited from refusing to provide the records merely because the patient has outstanding charges for medical services performed. Many patients prefer to have their attorneys gather the medical records, however, because a medical malpractice attorney will know best how to submit formal requests for these records.
In order to comply with the local codes for the state of Maryland, physician’s offices must keep their patient’s medical records for at least five years. In the event the patient is a minor, the records are kept for three years past the point when the minor reaches adulthood, or five years past the point that the record is created. Whichever of these two situations allows the record to remain on file for a longer period of time will be instituted. However ,many insurance companies offering medical malpractice coverage advise health care professionals to maintain their patient medical records for an indefinite period of time.