5 On Your Side

Patients frustrated at records access after Cary medical facility closes

Posted July 23, 2014

— For more than 20 years, Cary Diagnostic Radiology has provided CT scans, ultrasounds and mammograms for thousands of patients — until it suddenly closed last month, leaving patients like Margaret Harding without access to their medical records.

“I feel very helpless with the whole situation,” Harding said.

Harding has been unable to retrieve 15 years of her medical records. She called the facility multiple times and even stopped by, but has gotten no results.

"I've had some call backs on mammograms. That's one reason I'm doubly concerned because I want them to see what my history has been," said Harding, who wants the records for her new doctor. “Those records, I feel like, belong to me, and there’s no way I can get them. I’m representing one of thousands of people that are in the same situation…and none of us have gotten any direction on what to do.”

Harding and other patients wondered how hard it is to call or e-mail them or post a note on the door.

“It’s very frustrating, and it’s very aggravating,” Harding said.

Departing doctors have a professional obligation to notify patients and give them an opportunity to obtain their medical records, according to the state Medical Board.

The facility eventually posted a sign on its front door listing when patients can pick up their records – Monday through Friday of this week from 10 a.m. to noon.

On Wednesday, Dr. Christopher Tharrington, who took over the facility eight years ago and filed for bankruptcy in April, said he would extend those hours after 5 On Your Side reached out to him. An employee who handled patient issues left unexpectedly and Tharrington said he has been scrambling since.

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  • SirWired Jul 24, 2014

    This seems like a good opportunity for the state to levy a small fee on medical providers to provide a central medical records repository in the case of business failure. That said, the costs of such a repository are low for physical records, but I can imagine it being quite a bit more expensive to preserve electronic records.

  • WralCensorsAreBias Jul 24, 2014

    No need to be frustrated, you just need to be educated. Obamacare requires that the IRS and the Government now keep your medical records in their trustworthy hands and absolutely secured computers. Go ask for your records from them.

    You're welcomed.

  • mike275132 Jul 24, 2014

    Another Bankrupt medical practice.
    A socialized/rationed care set in, A lot more to come especially as ObamaCare cuts reimbursements to doctors.