Senator Roth Introduces the Medical Records Protection Act

February 15, 2018

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside) introduced the Medical Records Protection Act that fulfills a critical need to ensure the guaranteed access of patient records. SB 1238 will require certain health care providers to notify a patient before medical records are destroyed and make those records available.

“While HIPAA provides safeguards for patient privacy and the right to access their medical records, it functions under the assumption that those records continue to exist. The possibility of a patient’s records being destroyed without notice could have dire consequences for someone facing chronic or recurring illnesses. Diseases don’t operate within the artificial boundaries of dates,” said Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside). “In today’s world of managed care, it is of the utmost importance that patients have access to medical records throughout their lifetimes.”

At this time, there is no federal standard requiring how long a doctor must keep records. Instead, the amount of time is specified on a state-by-state basis with five years being the minimum holding period. In California, the timeframe is decided by the health provider.

Senator Roth continued: “A person should never feel that their health is held hostage by a lack of communication. The Medical Records Protection Act puts patients back in the driver seat by making them the arbiter of their own health records.”

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Senator Richard D. Roth represents the 31st State Senate District, which includes the communities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, March Air Reserve Base, Moreno Valley, Norco, Perris and Riverside. Prior to his election, he served for 32 years in the United States Air Force, retiring in 2007 in the grade of Major General.