Question

Q: Am I required to retain EOBs? If so, how long?

A: Yes, an EOB is part of the patient’s financial record and should be retained for as long as required by your individual state laws. Check with your state’s dental board for any state record retention requirements. If your state does not dictate a required amount of time to retain records, then retain them for 7 years, as
recommended by the American Dental Association. EOBs may be kept in chronological order in a separate
location and file so that they are easy to retrieve and do not fill up the patient’s record.

Q: How long do we need to keep old treatment plans?

A: Treatment plans (both complete and incomplete) are part of each patient’s clinical record and should be
retained for as long as required by your individual state’s dental practice act. Check with your state’s dental
board for any state requirements. If your state does not dictate a required amount of time to retain clinical
records, then retain them for 7 years, based on the recommendations of the American Dental Association. If the patient is a minor and leaves the practice, the clinical records should be retained for at least 7 years (or state mandated time period), beyond reaching age 18.

Q: Can our practice charge a records duplication fee since a considerable amount of time was spent preparing the records and radiographs for transfer?  If so, what code should we use to report this fee?

If you are in-network with the patient’s insurance, then your contract may prohibit this charge. If out-of-network, or if the patient is paying cash with no insurance, refer to your state laws regarding charging for duplication of records. This is state specific and many states have laws regarding the specific amount allowed, if any. Additionally, some states may require notifying the patient in writing about this fee prior to billing. Contact your State Dental Board and/or State Dental Association for guidance. Records duplication may be documented and reported using D9961-duplicate/copy patient’s records.