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Should My Patient Records Stay with the Practice When I Relocate?

Question: I am planning to move to another state, and I anticipate that my patients will remain with my current chiropractic professional group. While I'm an independent contractor, the patients are mine but are billed under the chiropractic group. Should I bring my patient records with me or leave them with the practice?

Answer: In this situation, the records should remain with the practice.

If you're sued or need the records for another purpose, such as a tax audit, you would be able to obtain the records in discovery.

In addition, it's a good idea to draft a letter to all your patients to advise them that you are relocating to another state. In the letter, you should include a statement explaining that they should return to the clinic for care or go to the emergency room, if needed, or they should request that their records be sent to another practitioner.

You should also explain that a patient who wants to transfer care to a different Doctor of Chiropractic should complete a HIPAA-compliant authorization form for the release of the records. 

As always, check with your licensing board for state-specific requirements.

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