2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 146. Miscellaneous health provisions.
146.819 Preservation or destruction of patient health care records.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 146.819 (2017)

146.819 Preservation or destruction of patient health care records.

(1) Except as provided in sub. (4), any health care provider who ceases practice or business as a health care provider or the personal representative of a deceased health care provider who was an independent practitioner shall do one of the following for all patient health care records in the possession of the health care provider when the health care provider ceased business or practice or died:

(a) Provide for the maintenance of the patient health care records by a person who states, in writing, that the records will be maintained in compliance with ss. 146.81 to 146.835.

(b) Provide for the deletion or destruction of the patient health care records.

(c) Provide for the maintenance of some of the patient health care records, as specified in par. (a), and for the deletion or destruction of some of the records, as specified in par. (b).

(2) If the health care provider or personal representative provides for the maintenance of any of the patient health care records under sub. (1), the health care provider or personal representative shall also do at least one of the following:

(a) Provide written notice, by 1st class mail, to each patient or person authorized by the patient whose records will be maintained, at the last-known address of the patient or person, describing where and by whom the records shall be maintained.

(b) Publish, under ch. 985, a class 3 notice in a newspaper that is published in the county in which the health care provider's or decedent's health care practice was located, specifying where and by whom the patient health care records shall be maintained.

(3) If the health care provider or personal representative provides for the deletion or destruction of any of the patient health care records under sub. (1), the health care provider or personal representative shall also do at least one of the following:

(a) Provide notice to each patient or person authorized by the patient whose records will be deleted or destroyed, that the records pertaining to the patient will be deleted or destroyed. The notice shall be provided at least 35 days prior to deleting or destroying the records, shall be in writing and shall be sent, by 1st class mail, to the last-known address of the patient to whom the records pertain or the last-known address of the person authorized by the patient. The notice shall inform the patient or person authorized by the patient of the date on which the records will be deleted or destroyed, unless the patient or person retrieves them before that date, and the location where, and the dates and times when, the records may be retrieved by the patient or person.

(b) Publish, under ch. 985, a class 3 notice in a newspaper that is published in the county in which the health care provider's or decedent's health care practice was located, specifying the date on which the records will be deleted or destroyed, unless the patient or person authorized by the patient retrieves them before that date, and the location where, and the dates and times when, the records may be retrieved by the patient or person.

(4) This section does not apply to a health care provider that is any of the following:

(a) A community-based residential facility or nursing home licensed under s. 50.03.

(b) A hospital approved under s. 50.35.

(c) A hospice licensed under s. 50.92.

(d) A home health agency licensed under s. 50.49 (4).

(f) A local health department, as defined in s. 250.01 (4), that ceases practice or business and transfers the patient health care records in its possession to a successor local health department.

History: 1991 a. 269; 1993 a. 27; 1999 a. 9.

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