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Privacy of Medical Data/Sale of a clinic and pt. records

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Question
Hi Merry,

My employer just recently sold one of his three physical therapy clinics to another therapy clinic in the same town.  I am being told that the sale included all of the equipment as well as all of the patients.  The new owner is asking for all of the past patient charts and documentation.  Do they/we need to get signed consent forms from each patient for us to give the charts over or does the sale of the information take care of that?  

It just doesn't feel right to me.

Thanks for your help,

Mark

Answer
I don't usually answer professional questions here. For that, go to medicalbillinglive.com. Great resource. But here is the scoop. Obviously you need to send all the patients a letter that the practice is sold. States have their own rules. I would, to be on the safe side, contact the malpractice insurance carrier and ask them what you need to do for the practice.

My take on this is that you send a letter and tell the patients that they can contact someone so that the charts are not transferred. Then, according to state and federal law, retention comes into play, especially since he or she is still in practice.
I think you need legal advice on this. I agree with you Mark. It is not just that easy.

Merry

Privacy of Medical Data

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Merry Schiff

Expertise

I can answer most questions about the HIPAA laws (privacy and security)

Experience

I am a HIPAA consultant and have published a book in this area

Organizations
I am Executive Director of NEBA, a medical billing organization

Publications
One of my books published by Pearson Education is, "HIPAA, the Questions You Didn't Know to Ask"

Education/Credentials
some college..Certified Healthcare Reimburement Specialist, C.H.R.S.

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