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Who Owns Medical Records: 50 State Comparison


This map and table show laws that confer ownership of a medical record to a health care provider, hospital, or patient.  We did not include laws that only apply to specific providers other than physicians (such as chiropractors and optometrists) or facilities other than hospitals (such as ambulatory surgery centers, birth centers, abortion clinics, nursing homes, prisons, and schools).  Note that there may be court decisions regarding record ownership that apply to providers in a particular state under common law even where there is no statute or regulation (e.g., McGarry v. J.A. Mercier Co., 272 Mich. 501, 262 N.W. 296 (1935) (Michigan case holding that x-ray negatives were the property of the physician who made them, not the patient); Holtkamp Trucking Co. v. David J. Fletcher, M.D., L.L.C., 402 Ill. App. 3d 1109, 932 N.E.2d 34 (2010) (Illinois case holding that medical records were physician’s property)). Many states have specific laws addressing how providers must maintain, protect, and dispose of records, as well as laws giving patients, providers, and others access to medical records, regardless of ownership status.  In addition, patients in all states have many rights with respect to their medical records under the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. 

Notes:

* Provider ownership of medical record is referenced in language of law

± Ownership is of the physical conveyance for the medical information

‡ Ownership is of the information contained in the record

[Last Updated 08/20/15]


Click on a state to see more information on Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access in that state


Medical Record Ownership Laws
  • Hospital and/or physician owns medical record
  • Patient owns information in medical record
  • No law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record



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StateMedical Record Ownership LawsDetails
AlabamaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
AlaskaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7, § 12.770: The medical records, including x-ray films, are the property of the facility (applies to hospitals and other specified health care facilities).

ArizonaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
ArkansasNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
CaliforniaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Cal. Code Regs. tit. 22, § 70751:  Medical records are the property of the hospital.

ColoradoNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
ConnecticutNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
DelawareNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
District of ColumbiaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
FloridaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Fla. Stat. § 456.057Defines "records owner" as any health care practitioner who generates a medical record after treating patient, any health care practitioner to whom records are transferred by a previous owner, or any health care practitioner's employer.

GeorgiaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Ga. Code Ann. § 31-33-3:  All records are owned by and are property of provider.

HawaiiNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
IdahoNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
IllinoisNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
IndianaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Ind. Code Ann. § 16-39-5-3: The original health record of the patient is the property of the provider. 

IowaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
KansasHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Kansas Admin. Regs. § 28-34-9a: Medical records shall be the property of the hospital. 

KentuckyNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
LouisianaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:1299.96 Patient medical records maintained in a provider’s office are the property and business records of the health care provider.

MaineNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
MarylandHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Md. Code Regs. 10.01.16.04:  Medical records are the personal property of the entity providing health care.

MassachusettsNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
MichiganNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
MinnesotaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
MississippiHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Miss. Code Ann. § 73-43-11: Medical records, as defined herein, are and shall remain the property of the licensed physician(s), in or whose clinic or facility said records are maintained. 

MissouriHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 19, § 30-20.094:  Medical records are considered the property of the hospital.

MontanaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
NebraskaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
NevadaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
New HampshirePatient owns information in medical record

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 151:21: Medical information contained in the medical records at any facility licensed under this chapter shall be deemed to be the property of the patient.

New JerseyNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
New MexicoHospital and/or physician owns medical record

N.M. Code R. § 16.10.17.10*: Physicians must retain the medical records they own.

New YorkNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
North CarolinaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

10A N.C. Admin. Code 13B.3903: Medical records are the property of the hospital. 

North DakotaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
OhioNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
OklahomaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
OregonHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Or. Admin. R. 333-505-0050: All medical records are the property of the hospital.

PennsylvaniaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

28 Pa. Code § 103.21, 103.22, 103.23, 103.24: Medical records are the property of the hospital.


28 Pa. Code § 115.28: Hospital medical records are the property of the hospital. 

Rhode IslandHospital and/or physician owns medical record

R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 5-37.22: Unless otherwise expressly stated in writing by a medical practice group, all medical records are the property of the practice group with which a physician was associated when he or she created the medical records.


14-090-007 R.I. Code R. § 27.12: Medical records are considered the property of the hospital.

South CarolinaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

S.C. Code Ann. § 44-115-20: A physician is the owner of medical records that were made in treating a patient that are in his or her possession, as well as the owner of records transferred to him or her concerning prior treatment of the patient.


S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 61-16, § 1104 and § 1213: Records of patients are the property of the facility and must not be taken from the hospital property except by court order.

South DakotaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
TennesseeHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-304: Hospital records are and shall remain the property of the hospitals, subject to a court order to produce the records.

TexasHospital and/or physician owns medical record

22 Tex. Admin. Code § 165.1*: Medical records may be owned by a physician's employer, including include group practices, professional associations, and non-profit health organizations.

UtahHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Utah Admin. Code.  R. 432-100-33: Original medical records are the property of the hospital. 

VermontNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
VirginiaHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Va. Code Ann.  § 32.1-127.1:03: Health records are the property of the health care entity maintaining them.


Va. Code Ann. § 54.1-2403.3: Medical records maintained by any health care provider as defined in § 32.1-127.1:03 are the property of the health care provider or the provider’s employer.

WashingtonNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
West VirginiaNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
WisconsinNo law identified conferring specific ownership or property right to medical record
WyomingHospital and/or physician owns medical record

Wyo. Code R. § 024-052-003±: The paper, microfilm, or data storage unit upon which the patient's information is maintained belongs to the physician and/or health care facility in which he/she practices. Patients do not have a right to possess the physical means by which the information is stored. Upon a patient's signed, written request, physicians shall make pertinent information in the medical record available to the patient.