Practicing physicians in Nevada must be aware of their responsibility relating to medical records retention, disclosure, and inspection guidelines, as regulated under NRS 629.051 – 629.061. Unless a longer period is required under federal law, each provider must retain patient medical records for 5 years after their receipt or production. NRS 629.051 further clarifies that health care records may be retained in written form, or by microfilm or any other recognized form of size reduction, including, without limitation, microfiche, computer disc, magnetic tape and optical disc. Records may be created, authenticated and stored in an electronic health system. A physician must post, in a conspicuous place in each location at which healthcare services are provided, a notice to patients that their health records will be destroyed in accordance with NRS 629.051.
Although state law requires physicians to retain health records for 5 years, HIPAA regulations requires medical records be kept for 7 years and Medicare Advantage plans require records to be maintained for 10 years. Further, NRS 629.051 section 7 states that health care records of a person who is less than 23 years of age on the date of the proposed destruction of the records. The health care records of a person who has attained the age of 23 years may be destroyed in accordance with this section for those records which have been retained for at least 5 years or for any longer period provided by federal law.
NRS 629.061 commands providers of health care make available for physical inspection health care records of a patient within 10 working days after the request by: 1) the patient or a representative with written authorization; 2) the personal representative of the estate of a deceased patient; 3) a trustee of a living trust created by the deceased patient; 4) the parent/guardian of a deceased patient; 5) an investigator for the Attorney General’s office; and 6) an authorized representative or investigator of a state licensing board. Additionally, NRS 629.061 describes the allowed reimbursement for the costs of copying health care records and other records, such as Xrays.
During the 2011 legislative session under SB150, regulatory changes were made to protected property stored in a storage space. If a physician puts “protected property,” which includes medical records, in a storage facility, they must 1) notify the storage unit owner of the content of the unit, 2) notify their professional licensing board where the records are being stored and provide a copy of that letter to the storage unit owner, and 3) provide a second person’s contact information. NRS 108.4755, Section 1.c.1 and 2 govern this requirement.