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Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access in New Mexico

        Physicians must retain patient medical records for at least 10 years after the date of last treatment, or as set forth by medical assistance programs.  Medical records for minors must be retained until the patient turns 21 years of age.  If a physician converts medical records into electronic files, the paper files must be kept for 30 days after the electronic transfer occurs.  Physicians must also retain medical billing information for at least two years after the date of last treatment.  Finally, physicians must abide by the code of medical ethics in determining if and for how long medical records should be retained past the required time.1  The state of New Mexico also requires Medicaid providers to maintain and retain all medical and business records for a period of at least 6 years.2  The law also allows the use of electronic medical records to satisfy the law’s medical record maintenance laws.3  If a physician converts medical records into electronic files, the paper files must be kept for 30 days after the electronic transfer occurs.4

        In New Mexico, a physician’s failure to maintain medical records or keep inaccurate or incomplete medical records is a violation of New Mexico law.  The medical board in New Mexico can refuse to license or suspend or revoke a physician’s license for improper keeping of medical records or failure to provide medical records to a physician or patient as requested by the patient.5  Physicians must provide all patients with a written policy on medical recordkeeping.6  A similar requirement is imposed on nurses.  The failure of a nurse to maintain proper and accurate medical records is considered a violation of New Mexico law.7  According to New Mexico law, long term care facilities also must maintain medical records for each of its residents for ten years following death or discharge.8

        New Mexico law requires that hospitals retain medical records dealing with the care and treatment of a patient for 10 years following the discharge of a patient.  Lab reports and tests can be destroyed after one year of the test being reported, provided that it is recorded and a copy is placed in the patient’s record.  If a copy is not put in the patient’s record, the lab test can be destroyed after four years from the date of the test being reported.  X-rays may be destroyed after four years from the date of exposure if there are hospital records of written notes by the doctor.  After the third year of retention, the patient may pick up his or her X-rays, as long as any physician written notes are retained in the medical record.9

 

Footnotes

  • 1. N.M. Admin. Code 16.10.17.10
  • 2. N.M.S.A. §27-11-4
  • 3. N.M.S.A. §24B-14B-5
  • 4. N.M. Admin. Code 16.10.17.10
  • 5. N.M.S.A. §61-6-16(D)(33)
  • 6. N.M. Admin. Code 16.10.17.10
  • 7. N.M. Admin. Code 16.12.10.10
  • 8. N.M. Admin. Code 7.9.2.31
  • 9. N.M.S.A. §14-6-2

 

Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access in New Mexico

Subtopic Statute/Regulation Description
Right to access to medical records (Access by representative or other person authorized by the patient through informed consent; copying fees, or other requirements (e.g., requirement to give patient access in electronic format)) Health-care information – N.M. Stat. Ann. §24-7A-8 A person authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of another individual must have the same rights as the patient to request, receive,...
Access to medical records by applicants for disability benefits; violations – N.M. Stat. Ann. § 14-6-3 These requirements apply to any person who is licensed, certified or otherwise authorized by law to provide or render health care, as well as to any...
Confidentiality – N.M. Code R. §8.100.100.13 New Mexico regulations specify that state agencies that administer programs under the Social Security Act or the Food Stamp program maintain the...
Control of Disease and Conditions of Public Health Significance – N.M. Code R §7.4.3.9 The Department of Health may take any steps necessary to protect the public health of the citizens of New Mexico, including imposing isolation or...
Fees Authorized; Schedule – N.M. Code R. § 7.1.10.10 Fees authorized; schedule   A health care provider producing a copy of a requested medical record may only charge a reasonable fee for...
Health Records – N.M. Code R. §7.1.3 The Department of Health must have a custodian, who is responsible for responding to written requests for information and inspection of health...
Hospital Facilities Policies – N.M. Code R. § 7.7.2.19 Policies   These requirements apply to all licensed public and private hospital facilities in New Mexico. Each hospital must have written...
Production of Records – N.M. Code R. § 7.1.10.9 Production of records   Any medical records requested by an individual must be produced within 30 days of the written request, regardless...
Release of Medical Records – N.M. Code R. § 16.10.17.8 New Mexico regulations provide that physicians must release medical records to patients or other physicians upon a legal request for the record....
Release of Medical Records – N.M. Code R. §16.12.10.8 New Mexico regulations provide that a clinical nurse or certified nurse practitioner must release medical records to patients or other practitioners...
Requirement of Written Request – N.M. Code R. § 7.1.10.8 Requirement of written request   An individual that is applying for or appealing a denial of social security benefits has the right to receive...
Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access Access to analytical database-N.M. Code R. § 7.1.20.12 State and federal agencies may access the analytical dataset to obtain data and reports, but only to the extent the information is relevant to the...
Access to linking database-N.M. Code R. § 7.1.20.13 State and federal agencies may link their databases to the relevant databases within the HIS, but only to the extent that the data linked is relevant...
Access to research database-N.M. Code R. § 7.1.20.11 Research organizations, state agencies, and federal agencies may also be granted access to the data and information contained in the HIS to specific...
Client records-N.M. Code R. § 7.26.2.25 All intermediate care facilities must maintain patient medical records, which include the following information: The patient’s full name...
Control of disease and conditions of public health significance-N.M. Code R. § 7.4.3.9 The Department of Health may take any steps necessary to protect the public health of the citizens of New Mexico, including imposing isolation or...
Failure to retain records; defined; penalties-N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-44-5 All providers receiving Medicaid payments for the treatment of patients must maintain medical records, including the treatment or care of patients...
Fees-N.M. Code R. § 7.1.3.16 New Mexico law permits the custodian to charge reasonable copying fees. The fee requirements are outlined in the regulations. Such fees must be paid...
General Provision on Access to HIS data-N.M. Code R. § 7.1.20.8 The Health Information System Act controls the data and reports that may be obtained at various access levels. The Commission must process all...
Immunization Requirements-N.M. Code R. § 7.5.2.8 All children must be immunized for the listed diseases in accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Academy...
Medical Records - Content-N.M. Code R. § 7.9.2.32 All long-term care patients’ medical record must contain the following information: An admission medical evaluation; All physician...
N.M. Admin. Code 16.10.17.10 – Retention, Maintenance and Destruction of Medical Records Physicians must retain the medical records they own for at least ten (10) years after the date of last treatment or the time frame set state or...
N.M. Admin. Code 8.302.1.17 Recordkeeping and Documentation Requirements Providers participating in Medicaid must maintain records to fully disclose the nature, amount, and...
Patient Records-N.M. Code R. § 7.11.2.24 All facilities that provide outpatient medical services must maintain medical records for each patient. All records must be legible and accurate, and...
Procedures for requests of data-N.M. Code R. § 7.1.20.14 Individuals may submit written requests for information to the Commission for information contained in the HIS.  The Commission may charge a fee...
Destruction, storage and filing of medical records (Cross reference with Security of Health Information) Health information system; creation; duties of commission – N.M. Stat. Ann. §24-14A-3 The state created a health information system to participate in the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating health information that would...
HMO Quality Assurance – N.M. Stat. Ann. §59A-46-7 A health maintenance organization (HMO) must have procedures in place the ensure that enrollees receive quality care, including availability,...
Hospital Records; retention – N.M. Stat. Ann. §14-6-2 Hospitals must retain medical records dealing with the care and treatment of a patient for 10 years following the discharge of a patient.  Lab...
Medical Records - General – N.M. Code R. §7.9.2.31 Medical Records - General   Long-term care facilities must maintain medical records for residents that are stored in an easily accessible,...
Recordkeeping and reporting requirements – N.M. Stat. Ann. §59A-23B-7 All insurers providing insurance pursuant to the Minimum Healthcare Protection Act must maintain separate records for enrollment, claim costs,...
Retention, Maintenance, and Destruction of Medical Records – N.M. Code R. §16.10.17.10 Retention, Maintenance, and Destruction of Medical Records   Physicians must retain the medical records for at least 10 years after the date of...
Retention, Maintenance, and Destruction of Medical Records – N.M. Code R. §16.12.10.10 A nurse’s failure to maintain medical records or keep inaccurate or incomplete medical records is a violation of New Mexico law.  When...
Required maintenance of medical records Health information system; creation; duties of commission – N.M. Stat. Ann. §24-14A-3 The state created a health information system to participate in the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating health information that would...
Medical Records - General – N.M. Code R. §7.9.2.31 Medical Records - General   Long-term care facilities must maintain medical records for residents that are stored in an easily accessible,...
Retention periods Hospital Records; retention – N.M. Stat. Ann. §14-6-2 Hospitals must retain medical records dealing with the care and treatment of a patient for 10 years following the discharge of a patient.  Lab...
Medical Records - General – N.M. Code R. §7.9.2.31 Medical Records - General   Long-term care facilities must maintain medical records for residents that are stored in an easily accessible,...
Retention and production of records – N.M. Stat. Ann. §27-11-4 New Mexico requires Medicaid providers to retain all medical and business records for at least 6 years.  The relevant records that must be...
Retention of electronic medical records – N.M. Stat. Ann. §24-14B-5 Any law requiring that medical records be kept and retained is satisfied if the electronic medical record accurately reflects the medical record,...
Retention, Maintenance, and Destruction of Medical Records – N.M. Code R. §16.10.17.10 Retention, Maintenance, and Destruction of Medical Records   Physicians must retain the medical records for at least 10 years after the date of...