Effective: Thursday, May 13, 1999
(1) The Board of Physical Therapy Practice and the Legislature recognize the need for maintenance and retention of medical records in order to protect and serve clients/patients. For that reason, the Legislature has directed the Board of Physical Therapy Practice to promulgate rules setting standards that will provide a minimum requirement for retention and disposition of client/ patient records of licensees relocating and terminating practice. However, the Board of Physical Therapy Practice is concerned that the promulgation of these rules may mislead the licensees. Subsection (2) of this rule sets forth standards which, if not met, will constitute a violation of Sections 456.058 and 486.125, Florida Statutes, and will subject the licensees to disciplinary proceedings. Licensees should retain medical records as long as needed not only to serve and protect clients/patients, but also to protect themselves against adverse actions. The times specified in subsection (2) below may well be less than the length of time necessary for protecting the licensees. Furthermore, the times stated may fall below the community standards for retention in specific communities and practice settings and for specific client/patient needs. For these purposes, licensees may wish to seek advice from private legal counsel or their insurance carrier.
(2) Each physical therapist or physical therapist assistant engaged in practice, who maintains the responsibility for client/ patient medical records, shall, when terminating or relocating the practice, notify each client/patient of such termination or relocation. Such notification shall consist of at least causing to be published, in the newspaper of greatest general circulation in each county in which the licensee practices or practiced, a notice which shall contain the date of termination or relocation and an address at which medical records may be obtained. Such notice shall be published no less than 4 times over a period of at least 4 weeks. In addition, the licensee shall place in a conspicuous location in or on the facade of the licensee’s office, a sign, announcing the termination or relocation of the practice. The sign shall be placed at least thirty (30) days prior to the termination or relocation and shall remain until the date of termination or relocation. Both the notice and the sign shall advise the clients/patients of their opportunity to transfer or receive their medical records. Furthermore, each such licensee shall see that client/patient records are maintained and may be obtained by the client/patient for a minimum of 2 years after the termination or relocation of practice.
(3) Any records shall be disposed of in a manner that would secure the permanent confidentiality of records.
Specific Authority 456.058 FS. Law Implemented 456.058, 486.021(6), (11) FS. History–New 5-13-99.