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  1. #1
    AlterForCourage Guest

    Default Failing to Return Radiographs to Vet...

    My previous vet used a casette radiograph machine. I requested copies of the xrays when they were taken, but they didn't have the technology to do so. The radiographs remain on file in the office and anytime my new vet wants to see them, I have to drive 45 minutes to "check them out."

    My new vet wanted to compare sole growth this week, so I checked the xrays out. The previous vet always asks that I return the radiographs within 24 hours. I haven't had time to drive them back out there, so they are still in my possession.

    How much trouble would I get in if I keep the xrays? Are there consequences for not returning radiographs? Has anyone done this before?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2009
    Posts
    937

    Default

    I kept a set of xrays from my mare that I was supposed to return. They were taken at her PPE and a year later we were having soundness problems and wanted to compare the current xrays to the older ones. The vet who had done the PPE charged me $50 to mail me a film copy and asked that I return them ASAP when I was done. Knowing that I'd likely need them again and being completely unwilling to pay another $50 next time, I just kept them. No one ever called to follow up on when I'd be sending them back...
    Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever



  3. #3

    Default

    Usually, you have to pay a deposit of $50 or so for the radiographs and they will refund your money once you give them back. Legally the radiographs belong to the vet clinic, so its kind of like walking out with a piece of their equipment (like if they were to loan you a Kimsey splint or something and you never returned it). You own the info on the radiographs but they own the radiographs and it is important for them to have the hard copies incase they get sued.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 2, 2005
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Why don't you just take a good quality digital photograph of the radiographs? Use a tripod to eliminate any motion and you'll have a very good copy that should show your vet what she needs to see. You can then email them them to anyone or keep them on your phone.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,035

    Default

    The vet I use for X-rays always tells me to just come pick them up. As he says 'You paid for them. They're yours, it's just more stuff for my staff to file'. But then the actual staff will tell me 'well, you need to return these so we can have them on file'. Ummm...if the vet is telling me they are mine then they're mine. So I just ignore the staff. I do pay for them so I do consider them mine. If the clinic wants to make a copy of them that's fine. But I don't see it any different than lab results. I pay to have them done, therefore I get a copy. Plus, what I've had done were on hooves. With the sole purpose of the farrier seeing them. So the vet doesn't NEED them. I need them to consult with the farrier.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2002
    Posts
    4,926

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jaimebaker View Post
    The vet I use for X-rays always tells me to just come pick them up. As he says 'You paid for them. They're yours, it's just more stuff for my staff to file'. But then the actual staff will tell me 'well, you need to return these so we can have them on file'. Ummm...if the vet is telling me they are mine then they're mine. So I just ignore the staff. I do pay for them so I do consider them mine. If the clinic wants to make a copy of them that's fine. But I don't see it any different than lab results. I pay to have them done, therefore I get a copy. Plus, what I've had done were on hooves. With the sole purpose of the farrier seeing them. So the vet doesn't NEED them. I need them to consult with the farrier.
    Legally, they are supposed to keep them. If the state comes in to inspect them, they get in trouble (fined??) if they are not easily found. Now...having said that, I vetted a horse that was out of state and had the x-rays sent to my vet. I bought the horse, but wanted the x-rays in case we ever had need to compare them. I asked if I could keep them and was told, "well, technically, no I can't tell you that you can keep them...." I read between the lines and still have them over a year later.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
    Location
    Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Pass the buck

    I sent my farrier to go look at radiograph's at vets. omygosh, he screwed up and took them outside to see better, then drove away. Gave to me after he did my horse. Nobody asked for them back. So the staff and myself could not be found at fault, everyone's happy, I still got them.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
    Location
    Guthrie, OK
    Posts
    1,591

    Default

    There are 2 legalities to this.
    Legally they are yours. They are your medical records and you paid for them.
    However, legally the veterinarian must retain records for some number of years (varies from state to state) and these are part of the record.

    I don't get why your vet couldn't make copies. You can put the original radiograph in the cassette on top of a new piece of film and "re-take" the film. It will take some fiddling for them to find the right setting on the machine but once they get it, it is simple.

    Way back when I did equine I just bought a box of duplicating film and when I had to send copies out I made a copy. Different technique but same idea. I did charge for it since it took additional film and time.

    Or, he could take them to a human hospital (surely he has a working relationship with one?) and they could make a copy. For a fee I am sure.

    Yes, you can take a "good quality" digit photograph but it is not as easy as it sounds to get a really good quality pic, esp if you are looking for subtle changes. You need a light box for one thing. You need to get at just the right angle in all planes. And there is glare to deal with. I used to do this in our ECC to copy rads I really liked and wanted to keep copies of my computer. Before we had digitial. Far from ideal.



  9. #9
    AlterForCourage Guest

    Default

    Thank you all for the feedback. I don't know why they can't make me copies. I'm thinking it's just too much of a hassel for them.

    My current game plan is to wait and see if they ever call inquiring about them. This is a rural vet office that requires two days notice to "find" the xrays before I can pick them up each time I need them for vet or farrier. I really don't think they will miss them.

    I did look up Texas state law and the vet is to keep patient records for 5 years. If they call looking for them, I'll take them back.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2008
    Posts
    658

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MeghanDACVA View Post
    There are 2 legalities to this.
    Legally they are yours. They are your medical records and you paid for them.
    Meghan - It's my understanding that what the client "owns" is the information in the medical record (and the right to a copy of the MR) but not the original MR (including radiopgraphs). I was always taught that the original MR is the property of the DVM. Is that wrong?

    Some states allow Drs. (MDs and DVMs) to charge for making copies of MRs. The amount per page is usually determined by some type of state statute IIRC.

    Sounds like they don't want to/are unable to make copies of the films for some reason, so they gave you the originals. I doubt they will ever ask for them back (might not realize you have them), but can your new vet just make copies/photos and then you can return them?



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