There is quite a bit of paperwork in the medical profession. It is not uncommon for doctors to compile a significant amount of medical records in relation to their patients.
There are many rules and requirements that Pennsylvania law places on doctors when it comes to such records. It is vital for doctors to keep in line with such rules and requirements and to exercise appropriate care when it comes to medical records. Failure to do so could lead to a doctor facing disciplinary proceedings.
One of the rules regarding medical records is that such records are not to be disposed of earlier than seven years following the final entry. A doctor from York Township has recently been accused of running afoul of this rule.
The doctor recently retired. When he retired, he asked his patients to pick up their medical records by a certain date. It has been alleged that, after this date passed and only a few patients picked up the records, the doctor dumped the remaining records in public dumpsters. Purportedly, the records weighed around seven tons in total and were related to around 5,000 patients. Allegedly, many of the records had final entries that were less than seven years old.
The doctor has been accused of violations in relation to this alleged record dumping. He recently had an Order to Show Cause issued against him in relation to the alleged violations. A 30-day time limit has been set for him to respond to the violation allegations.
Among the disciplinary actions the doctor is potentially facing are fines and a loss of his physician's license. If he does not make a response in the above-mentioned time limit, such actions could be taken against him without a hearing.
As this matter illustrates, a physician can face serious professional and financial consequences in connection to accusations of not acting properly in relation to patient records. Thus, how a doctor responds to such allegations can have significant impacts. License defense attorneys can provide physicians with guidance on how to respond to medical record violation accusations or other misconduct allegations.
Source: The York Daily Record, "State files order against York Twp. doctor who dumped files," Rebecca Hanlon, June 25, 2014