Providers must retain a patient's medical records for seven years after the last treatment date, or three years from the patient's death. If the patient is a minor, providers must keep his/her records for at least 3 years after the minor's 18th birthday or at least 6 years after the last date the minor received healthcare services, whichever date occurs last.
In the event of the termination of Desert Family Physicians, the providers (or a designee from the company's staff) will post two notices in the Arizona Republic, two weeks apart, regarding the close of the practice and information for locating medical records. The doctor or his staff will further advise all active clients (by letter or direct verbal communication) where and how they may contact the doctor for purposes of interim/transfer care or to request their records. Patients will be provided either a phone number to contact the providers directly or with the number for the Arizona State Medical Board, who will be able to properly direct requests (the providers will maintain current contact with the Board during the required period for records retention). The doctor will maintain a professional telephone contact number for a period of three to six months, depending on circumstances surrounding the closure of the practice.
To protect personal privacy, the providers or company staff designee will only provide direct access numbers to active or recent (6 months inactive) patients. Inactive patients will be able to direct records request to the Arizona State Medical Board. The providers will maintain records at 5520 E. Main Street, #4, Mesa, Arizona 85205.
The providers or company staff designee will respond in a timely manner to patient requests for copies or access to their medical records. Unless prohibited by illness, temporary travel unavailability, or death the providers will respond within 30 days or other legally or ethically mandated time frame. The providers or company staff designee will dispose of unclaimed records after the legally specified time for retention by destroying said records such no confidential information remains in use-able form.
In the event that circumstances require, the providers or company staff designee will forward access and responsibility to another professional who will respond to records requests in accordance with legal and professional standards set forth by the Arizona State Medical Board.