Keeping Track of Medical Records

tjmbFebruary 7, 2013

I've been cleaning out all my files - throwing out parking tickets from 2004, my kids' artwork from nursery school - but my biggest file is still doctors' bills, hospital bills and the insurance explanation of benefits. I keep them so I remember when something happen, where we went for treatment, medicine, etc.

Every two years it seems like we switch health insurance plans and then have to switch doctors so I'd like to keep a better record of our hospital/doctor visits.

I found this article from AARP -

They also mention some online sites to store your records.

How do you keep track of your medical records? A handwritten journal? An Excel spreadsheet?

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Thanks, I'll check out the website.

I have a self-made "house diary" on MS Word. One file is for medical and insurance, another is where I track monthly electric bill, I wanted to see what the actual savings was on our now 3 year old air conditioner.

I can go back 12 years and see where I bought an appliance and furniture purchases along with the price, contact information, model and serial #. When the house was painted, brand and paint color, # of gallons used.

I has been very very helpful. I've just gotten remiss in keeping it up lately.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:59PM
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I keep the medicare and my supplemental records for about 2 years. Then I toss them. So far I haven't had a problem. When a doctor wants to know about previous surgeries, I just say in the 70's and that works. I do the same thing with my bills. Never had a problem.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Don't forget to keep careful, organized records of what you spend on your home. While generally, you only need keep most records for a limited # of years, you NEED those house records when you eventually sell. We just went through trying to track down that info, because we sold the home we lived in for 40 years! Start from the beginning, keeping a folder/file for the stuff you'll need to file your taxes when you do sell.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:53AM
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What issues came up when you sold your house? We're in our house over 20 and may be selling in 4/5 years.

I started keeping a house journal about 8 years ago with repairs, painting info, age of appliances, warranties, etc.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:01PM
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There is relief with regard to capital gains on the sale of your primary residence. The article below spells it out quite simply. No need to justify $$$ spent on upgrades and improvements, within a certain limit.

We have sold two residences at double what we bought them for in the past 13 years and the only document we needed for tax prep was the closing statement, and no capital gains taxes :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Capital Gains changes on selling PRIMARY RESIDENCE

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:26AM
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I made a grid to keep track of blood work done to give to my cardiologist.

I made up a form for each of us containing name, address, phone, names of doctors, our complete (brief) medical histories (procedure/diagnosis and date), and meds we take. One copy is on the fridge in case of emergency (paramedics loved that). Its all on one page.

On next page, made a much smaller font one, still with all that info, to put in wallet. Also an extra one for the glove compartment. Probably a little anal, but we both have had heart surgery with implants so have all the bases covered.

If there are any changes between dr. appointments, I update and take a copy with me. Also take one to new docs/appointments so I don't have to fill out those endless questionnaires.

Shred EOBs after a year.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:41AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I always ask for any test results to be printed and handed to me before I leave an appointment. I also have started asking for results to be emailed to me. This is working out well. I can save test results documents in a folder on my computer.

I also started tracking blood test results on a spreadsheet. I find it so much easier to see how things are changing from one year to the next, when I can see them side by side in one document rather than sifting through many documents.

I do have a lot of old records stuck in an old briefcase somewhere and I need to go through those and weed through them.

I would never in a million years, store any of my personal information or documents on an online site, like 'Cloud', and especially medical records. I cannot understand how people cannot anticipate the problems that could arise from doing things that way.

I would not shred any medical document no matter how old. Once they are gone, they are gone. Try getting a copy from the medical records department for old medical procedures or tests and find out they can't find them and you will never shred another medical document.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 5:06AM
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