If you are a Florida Physician who has signed up to be the Medical Director of a facility licensed under the Health Care Clinic Act (Sections 400.990-400.995, Florida Statutes) you should be aware of your responsibilities with respect to ownership and control of the medical records.
What a Medical Director is Responsible For
Among the “clinic responsibilities" under the Health Care Clinic Act, each health care clinic must appoint a medical director who is responsible for:
• Ensuring that all medical staff has current, valid licenses;
• Serving as the clinic records owner;
• Conducting systematic reviews of clinic billings to ensure that they are not fraudulent or unlawful; and
• Ensuring that the clinic publishes a list of charges for the medical services offered to patients and the list is displayed in a public area.
Moreover, if the Physician leaves the practice there are separate responsibilities under 456.075, Florida Statutes, which provides:
456.057 Ownership and control of patient records; report or copies of records to be furnished; disclosure of information.—
(12) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 456.058, records owners shall place an advertisement in the local newspaper or notify patients, in writing, when they are terminating practice, retiring, or relocating, and no longer available to patients, and offer patients the opportunity to obtain a copy of their medical record.
(13) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 456.058, records owners shall notify the appropriate board office when they are terminating practice, retiring, or relocating, and no longer available to patients, specifying who the new records owner is and where medical records can be found.
(14) Whenever a records owner has turned records over to a new records owner, the new records owner shall be responsible for providing a copy of the complete medical record, upon written request, of the patient or the patient’s legal representative.
(15) Licensees in violation of the provisions of this section shall be disciplined by the appropriate licensing authority.
Among the above provisions under Section 456.057, Florida Statutes is the requirement that the physician take steps to notify patients and the Board of Medicine whenever they are “terminating practice, retiring, or relocating, and no longer available to patients…” Furthermore, if a physician violates one of these provisions it can result in discipline by the Board of Medicine.