Frequently Asked Questions


My husband asked his current doctor for his medical records dating back to 2004. He was informed that all records prior to 2009 where destroyed. My husband was not notified prior to the records being destroyed and he is still a current patient , he sees this doctor every 3 to 6 months for the same issue he has had since 2004. Did the doctors office follow proper procedures?


If the practice is not affiliated with the state of Virginia or a state of Virginia medical facility, the Virginia Board of Medicine (18VAC85-20-26) requires the following:

Practitioners must maintain a patient record for a minimum of six years following the last patient encounter with the following exceptions:

1. Records of a minor child, including immunizations, must be maintained until the child reaches the age of 18 or becomes emancipated, with a minimum time for record retention of six years from the last patient encounter regardless of the age of the child;

2. Records that have previously been transferred to another practitioner or health care provider or provided to the patient or his personal representative; or

3. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law to be maintained for a longer period of time.

After October 19, 2005, practitioners must post information or in some manner inform all patients concerning the time frame for record retention and destruction. Patient records can only be destroyed in a manner that protects patient confidentiality, such as by incineration or shredding.

If the practice is affiliated with the State of Virginia or a state of Virginia medical facility (e.g. UVa or VCU-MCV), the record retention and disposition schedule is as follows:

· Adults – 10 years after last action or visit

· Minors – 28 years after birth