Time period to maintain records by Hospital ?

Retention Period

The hospital must maintain a medical record for each inpatient and outpatient. Medical records must be accurately written, promptly completed, properly filed and retained, and accessible. The provider must use a system of author identification and record maintenance that ensures the integrity of the authentication and protects the security of all record entries.

The provider (hospital, skilled nursing facility, and home health agency) must retain medical records in their original or legally reproduced form for a period of at least five years after it files with its FI the cost report to which the records apply, unless State law stipulates a longer period of time.

After payment of the bill, the provider need not retain administrative and billing work records provided that, and only to the extent that, such material does not represent critical detail in support of summaries related to the records outlined in §110.2. These records include punch cards, adding machine tapes, internal controls, or other similar material not required for record retention.


Providers must retain clinical records as follows:

• The period of time required by State law;

• Five years from the date of discharge when there is no requirement in State law; or

• For a minor, three years after a resident reaches legal age under State law.



 Destruction of Records

The provider may destroy material that no longer needs to be retained for title XVIII purposes, unless State law stipulates a longer period of retention.

To insure the confidentiality of the records, they must be destroyed by shredding, mutilation or other protective measures. The method of final disposition of the records may provide for their sale as salvage. The provider must report monies received as an adjustment to expense in the cost report for the year sold.

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