Medical Records Retention for Pregnant Patients

Q. How long does an obstetrician or other physician who treats women during pregnancy need to keep patient records? Is it until age 21 of the baby, or seven years after the mother was last treated?

A. Texas Medical Board (TMB) rules regarding medical records retention do not specifically mention obstetricians or other specific specialties. 

Physicians who treat women during pregnancy might want to keep those patients’ medical records longer than the seven years from date of last treatment — what TMB rules specify for adult patients — in case any problems come up regarding the prenatal care of the child (regardless of whether the physician did not actually deliver the baby, or participate in its care once it was born). Most liability carriers suggest keeping the medical records until the baby the patient was carrying turns 21; however, check with your liability carrier for recommendations specific to your situation.

For general information on medical records retention, see the TMA white paper, “Retention of Medical Records,” (TMA members only). For more about medical records, visit the TMA Medical Records resource page, or take TMA’s on-demand webinar, Medical Records: Most Wanted Answers.

Have a question about medical records or other topics? Find answers in the TMA FAQs (TMA members only), or ask the TMA Knowledge Center.

NOTICE: The Texas Medical Association provides this information with the express understanding that (1) no attorney-client relationship exists, (2) neither TMA nor its attorneys are engaged in providing legal advice, and (3) the information is of a general character. This is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. While every effort is made to ensure that content is complete, accurate and timely, TMA cannot guarantee the accuracy and totality of the information contained in this publication and assumes no legal responsibility for loss or damages resulting from the use of this content. You should not rely on this information when dealing with personal legal matters; rather legal advice from retained legal counsel should be sought. NOTICE: Please check the Texas Medical Board website for current updates on its rules and policies with respect to this topic.

Published July 27, 2017

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Last Updated On

July 28, 2017

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