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Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access in Tennessee

        As a condition of licensure, practitioners in Tennessee, including physicians,1 osteopathic physicians2, chiropractors,3 dentists,4  and optometrists,5 must maintain patient medical records that contain sufficient information to ensure continuity of care.  These practitioners must maintain records for ten years; psychologists must maintain records for seven years.6

        Tennessee also imposes records requirements on certain facilities and services providers.  Hospitals must keep and maintain patient medical records for ten years.7  Providers of mental health and developmental disability services must maintain records for ten years,8 which must contain the patient’s identifying information, and appropriate consent and authorization forms.9  Personal support services providers must maintain a record containing each patient’s identifying information, a record of services being delivered, and documentation of medical problems.10  Home health agencies must maintain records for five years.11 Pharmacists must maintain a record system and include the patient’s name, address, date of birth, gender and relevant history.12   Additionally, any practitioner, provider or facility that participates in the TennCare program must maintain all records that support a claim submitted for payment for at least four years.13

        Tennessee law protects the right of patients to access their own medical records.  All health care providers14 and hospitals15 must provide patients access to their own medical records upon request.  Providers of mental illness or developmental disability services must give all patients over age sixteen access to their records upon request, unless such access would be medically contraindicated.16  Any person authorized to make health care decisions for a patient has the same rights as the patient to request, receive, examine and copy any health care information maintained by a hospital,17 a nursing home18 or an ambulatory surgical center.19

        Providers may charge a reasonable fee for copying and mailing medical records to those patients who have made such a request; the fees for different types of providers vary, but in all cases, there is a flat rate for the first several pages and a fee for each additional page thereafter.

 

 

Footnotes

  • 1. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0880-02-.15
  • 2. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1050-02-.18
  • 3. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 0260-02-.26
  • 4. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 0460-02-.12
  • 5. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 1045-02-.14
  • 6. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 1180-01-.06
  • 7. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-305
  • 8. Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-101
  • 9. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 0940-05-06-.05
  • 10. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 0940-05-38-.09
  • 11. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-111
  • 12. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 1140-03-.01
  • 13. Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-5-2602
  • 14. Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-101
  • 15. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-304 (2012)
  • 16. Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-112 (2012)
  • 17. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-01-.13
  • 18. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-06-.13
  • 19. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-10-.13

 

Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access in Tennessee

Subtopic Statute/Regulation Description
Medical Records Collection, Retention, and Access Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-101 - Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Records Detailing Services or Supports Provided to Persons With Mental Illness, Serious Emotional Disturbance, or Developmental Disabiltiy Any person with overall authority for a public or private hospital, developmental center, treatment resource, or developmental disabilities service...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-112 - Disclosure to service recipient of records kept and procedures for accessing records Providers of services to individuals with mental health or intellectual and developmental disabilities must allow any service recipient over the age...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-101 - Requirements for the Release of Medical Records by Health Care Providers Health care providers must provide a patient or his or her representative a copy of the patient’s medical record within ten working days of...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-102 - Costs of reproduction, copying or mailing of records The party requesting medical records from a provider is responsible for the reasonable costs of copying mailing them.  The fees cannot exceed $...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-111 - Requirement for Record Retention Requirement for Record Retention Home health care agencies shall keep records for five years from the time that information was first obtained by the...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-303 - Hospital's Duty to Keep Records Hospital's Duty to Keep Records All hospitals, their employees, and medical and nursing personnel practicing in the hospital shall prepare, make, and...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-304 - Requirements for Hospitals Regarding Furnishing Medical Records Hospital records are and shall remain the property of the hospitals, subject to a court order to produce the records. Unless prohibited by law, a...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-305 - Requirements for Preservation of Patient Care Records for Hospitals Hospitals must retain patient care records for 10 years following the patient’s discharge or death.  For patients who are minors or have a...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-306 - Requirements for Destruction of Hospital Records Before destroying a hospital record, the hospital must make an abstract of any pertinent data as is necessary or legally required.  A hospital...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-308 - Requirements for Transfer of Hospital Records to the Department of Health and Preservation of Such Records in the Event of Hospital Closing When a hospital closes, it must turn over its patient records to the Department of Health, which must store, retain and preserve the medical records...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-901 - Enumeration of Minimum Rights for Patients or Residents of a Nursing Home Every patient or resident of a nursing home has the following minimum rights: To choose a personal physician; To be informed of the resident...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-5-2602 - Requirements for Record Keeping Under the TennCare Program Upon submitting a claim or receiving payment under the TennCare program, all providers must maintain adequate records, including medical records,...
Tenn. Code Ann. §63-1-117 - Conditions for Making Medical Records Available for Inspection and Copying Health care providers are required to make medical records available to the Department of Health for inspection and copying based on the following...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-1-108 - Requirements for Reports of Claims Data by Licensed Hospitals Each licensed hospital must report all claims data for each inpatient and outpatient discharge to the Commissioner of Health.  Such reports must...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-1-119 - Requirements for Claims Data Discharge Reports by Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Centers Each licensed ambulatory surgical center and licensed outpatient diagnostic center must report all claims data for each discharge to the Commissioner...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-11-311 - Violations of the Medical Records Act of 1974 Violations of the Medical Records Act of 1974 If a hospital or its personnel willfully, recklessly, or wantonly violate any of the provisions of the...
Tenn. Code. Ann. §68-11-312 - Requirements for Communications Between Health Care Providers and Their Patients Tennessee law encourages communication between a patient’s health care providers.  The law does not impose confidentiality requirements on...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0260-02-.26 - Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Chiropractic Records All chiropractic physicians must create and maintain a chiropractic record for every patient receiving services.  These records are separate and...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0460-01-.16 - Patient Rights for Dental Patients Each patient of a licensed dentist will be afforded the following rights:         To have their records kept...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0460-02-.12 - Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Dental Records All dentists must create and maintain a dental record for every patient receiving services.  These records are separate and distinct from those...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0880-02-.15 - Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Medical Records for Physicians All physicians must create and maintain a medical record for each patient that is separate and distinct from those records generated for the patient...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0940-05-06-.05 - Individual Client Record Requirements for all Facilities The governing body of each facility providing mental health, mental retardation, and/or alcohol and drug treatment services must ensure that an...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0940-05-38-.09 - Service Recipient Record Requirements Licensed personal support services providers must ensure that each service recipient’s record includes the following information:  ...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1150-01-.18 - Requirements for Mandatory Release of Client Records for Licensed Physical Therapists Requirements for Mandatory Release of Client Records for Licensed Physical Therapists The Board of Occupational Health shall provide the client with...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1150-02-.18 - Requirements for Mandatory Release of Client Records for Licensed Occupational Therapists Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1150-02-.18-Requirements for Mandatory Release of Client Records for Licensed Occupational Therapists If an individual is...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1180-01-.06 - Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Patient Records for Licensed Psychologists, Senior Psychological Examiners and Psychological Examiners Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Patient Records for  Licensed Psychologists, Senior Psychological Examiners and Psychological...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-06-03-.08 - Standards and Requirements for Patient Test Management Systems Standards and Requirements for Patient Test Management Systems Each laboratory must maintain a system that sets a standard for properly preparing...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-01-.11 - Requirements for Disclosure of Vital Records Vital records are public information and can be requested and verified upon request.  Tennessee regulations have created exceptions for the...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-03-.02 - Discharge Data Reporting Requirements for Hospitals All hospitals are required to report discharge data as specified by the Department of Health.  The minimum information required to be reported...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-03-.07 - Requirements for Confidentiality of Discharge Data All discharge data required to be reported by hospitals must remain confidential until it is processed and verified by the Commissioner of Health....
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-01-.13 - Policies and Procedures for Health Care Decision-Making in Hospitals All hospitals must establish policies and procedures for the designation of a decision maker for health care decisions of a patient who is...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-06-.13 - Policies and Procedures for Health Care Decision-Making in Nursing Homes All nursing homes must establish policies and procedures for the designation of a decision maker for health care decisions of a resident who is...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-10-.13 - Policies and Procedures for Health Care Decision-Making in Ambulatory Surgical Centers All ambulatory surgical centers must establish policies and procedures for the designation of a decision maker for health care decisions of a patient...