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Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access in Michigan

Under Michigan law, a physician must keep a patient’s records for at least seven years after the patient’s last visit.1 Similarly, Michigan law requires healthcare facilities to maintain complete and accurate records on all patients for at least seven years from a patient’s last visit.2  Failure of either a physician or healthcare facility to comply with these rules may result in a fine.3  Mental health providers are required to maintain medical records for each of their patients receiving mental health services.4  Hospitals are required to adopt policies and procedures regarding maintenance of patient medical records.5  The state also requires all health care providers to have policies and procedures in place for the maintenance of medical records and providing access to medical records.6  Similarly, a health care facility is required to contract with another entity if it cannot maintain its own medical records.7


Michigan law also mandates that insurance companies maintain clinical patient records. If the patient receives inpatient treatment, then the healthcare facility is responsible to keep the patient’s medical record and provide it to the insurance company if needed.8


Michigan law also specifies the content of medical records.  Physicians must record a patient’s informed consent in the medical record.9  The state has specific informed consent requirements for different procedures and treatments, including abortions,10 breast cancer treatments, 11 and genetic testing, that must be recorded in the patient’s medical record.12  Hospital records must include basic clinical information about the patient, and more specific information if the patient has surgery.13  The contents of insurers’ clinical records are also specified by law.  An insurer’s clinical record must include identification information, medical evaluations, diagnostic information, and any other supporting documentation.14


Michigan law allows patients access to their medical records by sending a written request for access to the health care provider.15  Patients are given broad access to their medical records in the state of Michigan.  Patients have the right to inspect, copy, and access their medical records from health care facilities.16 If an individual wishes to review his records maintained by the State Department of Public Health, then the individual must submit a request in writing for his records.17 Healthcare providers cannot inquire into a patient’s request for medical records.18 However, healthcare providers, including health care facilities can charge a fee for a patient’s request for a copy of his record.19



  • 1. M.C.L.A. §333.16213
  • 2. M.C.L.A. §333.20175
  • 3. M.C.L.A. §333.16213; M.C.L.A. §333.20175
  • 4. M.C.L.A. § 330.1141
  • 5. M.C.L.A. §331.161
  • 6. M.C.L.A. §333.16177
  • 7. M.C.L.A. §333.20175a
  • 8. MI ADC R. 325.6801
  • 9. M.C.L.A. § 333.5657
  • 10. M.C.L.A. §333.17015
  • 11. M.C.L.A. §333.17013
  • 12. M.C.L.A. §333.17520
  • 13. MI ADC R. 325.1028
  • 14. MI ADC R. 325.6805
  • 15. M.C.L.A. §333.26265
  • 16. M.C.L.A. §333.20201
  • 17. M.C.L.A. §333.2639
  • 18. M.C.L.A. §333.26267
  • 19. M.C.L.A. §333.26269; M.C.L.A. §333.2641


Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access in Michigan

Related State Laws