Effective date: 4/23/1990

    (1) Patient records are confidential and may not be released unless authorized by the patient in writing. This confidentiality prohibits review of the records by a dentist other than the dentist of record or by other health care providers unless they are actually involved in care or treatment of the patient. Maintenance of patient records by a deceased dentist’s estate, authorized agent of the estate or by a successor-owner dentist of a practice does not authorize review of patient records. However, limited review for the purpose of obtaining a patient’s name, address and last date of treatment in order to comply with this rule is permitted.
    (2) Within 90 days of a dentist’s death, the dentist’s estate or agent shall place all patient records of the deceased dentist in the care of another Florida licensed dentist.
    (a) The patient records of the deceased dentist shall be maintained and made available to patients for a period of 4 years.
    (b) Within 90 days of a dentist’s death the dentist’s estate or agent shall cause a notice to be published in the newspaper of greatest general circulation in the county where the dentist practiced which advises patients of the dentist’s death. The notice shall advise patients that they may obtain copies of their dental records and specify the name, address and telephone number of the person from whom the copies of records may be obtained. The notice shall appear at least once a week for four consecutive weeks.
    (c) The subsequent Florida licensed dentist shall cause to be published a similar notice whenever the patient records of the deceased dentist are subsequently transferred to another licensed Florida dentist if such transfer is within 4 years of the dentist’s death.
    (d) During the four year retention period required by this rule each licensed Florida dentist who is in possession of the deceased dentist’s patient records shall insure that the original patient records, or in cases where the patient has requested that the records be released or transferred, copies thereof remain in his possession.
    (3) Dental records of a practitioner who is terminating or relocating his practice shall be retained by the dentist or his authorized agent, which may be a successor-owner dentist, and made available to patients for 4 years from the date the patient was last examined or treated.
    (4) Within one month of a dentist’s termination of practice or relocation of practice outside the local telephone directory service area of his or her current practice, a notice shall be published in the newspaper of greatest general circulation in the county where the dentist practiced which advises patients of the dentist’s termination of practice or relocation. The notice shall advise patients that they may obtain copies of their dental records and specify the name, address and telephone number of the person from whom copies of records may be obtained. The notice shall appear at least once a week for 4 consecutive weeks.
    (5) If a dentist relocates his practice but maintains a listing in the same local telephone directory used in his previous practice location, notice of relocation shall be clearly posted at his practice location for one month prior to relocation. The notice shall state the date of relocation and the address to which the office is being relocated.
    (6) Records shall be made available at a location within the county where the dentist practices or practiced and shall be made available at reasonable times.
Rulemaking Authority 456.058, 466.004(4) FS. Implements Florida Statutes § 456.058. History—New 10-26-80, Formerly 21G-17.01, Amended 7-16-90, 10-28-91, 4-23-90, Formerly 21G-17.001, 61F5-17.001, 59Q-17.001.