SECTION 1. Section 70 of chapter 111 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “herein”, in line 75, the following paragraph:-
If a person certified to practice medicine under section 2 of chapter 12 dies and has not transferred his or her patient records to another person certified to practice medicine under said chapter and has not made provisions for a transfer of patient records to occur upon the person's death, a personal representative of the person's estate shall so notify the board within 30 days of the person’s death. The personal representative shall also notify the person's patients of record by publishing a notice to that effect in a newspaper of daily circulation in the area where the person practiced. The notice must be published at least 1 time per month over a 3-month period after the person's death and must explain how a former patient can procure the patient's patient records. All former patients who have not requested their records 30 days after such publication must be notified by first class mail by the personal representative of the estate to permit the patients to procure their records. The actual cost of postage or shipping may be charged to the patient if the records are mailed. Any patient records that have not been procured within 7 years after the death of the person may be permanently disposed of in a manner that ensures confidentiality of the records. The board is hereby authorized and directed to develop and implement, without cost to the commonwealth, a plan to improve patient access to medical records upon a physician’s death, consistent with this section.
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