If you are a non-physician owner of a medical practice, you may wonder what requirements govern the process of closing your small business. Our Georgia-based business and healthcare law firm assists medical practice owners with set up, a variety of business transactions, dissolutions and wind-down of the business. Medical licensing rules do not necessarily govern the non-physician owner, but there are potential obligations all owners should be aware of.
First, Retain Patient Medical Records.
Assuming the medical practice owns at least certain patient medical records, Georgia law requires the medical practice to maintain medical records for ten years from the date of creation and make those records available to patients upon request. O.C.G.A. § 31-33-2(a)(1)(A). There are exceptions to the ten-year rule. For instance, a provider who is retiring or selling his or her practice is excepted if the provider completes certain tasks, including notifying the patients of the impending retirement or sale and offering to provide each patient’s records to another provider of the patient’s choice and, if requested, the patient. O.C.G.A. § 31-33-2(a)(1)(B)(i). There are possible vendors with whom you may contract to assume this responsibility, if desired. And if the medical records are electronic medical records (“EMR”) controlled by a third-party vendor, the vendor’s contract should be carefully reviewed and followed, subject to Georgia law requirements.