Patient Records and Shredding Documents

Challenge: The client you treated 8 years ago seeks medical records to document a disability. You shredded their records last year. They are dismayed. What do you do?

You can offer to compose a report based on what you remember, if you remember, and provide it to the client. If the client was well-known to your office, you may know enough to write a simple narrative regarding their past therapy visits. You may have some files saved in your old computer records or billing program, with a diagnosis and billing codes, which you probably stored in some archive. You can simply inform them that you shred all old documents in accordance with HIPAA guidelines every 6 years, and you regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

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