Q&A: What to do with patient charts when you're closing your practice

December 5, 2008

If I'm unable to get another physician to take over my charts, what options do I have for storing them?

Q: I'm planning to leave my private practice at the end of the year to take a salaried position. If I'm unable to get another physician to take over my charts, what options do I have for storing them? I don't want to deal with the possibility of multiple providers requesting multiple copies.

A: Call your local medical society or state medical association. They will be able to explain your legal responsibilities in this matter. A hospital will sometimes take the records, especially if it is recruiting to fill the physician vacancy. Other colleagues in the same specialty may be willing to accept the records in hopes they can retain the business. If your new employer treats patients, it may accept the records or know a source that will. If no other option is available, you might need to seek a commercial storage company that will charge a fee for retrieval and copying.