Barriers to Access Overview: Obtaining Medical Records from Practices that are Closed Physician practices close for several reasons. Physicians may merge with another practice or hospital system. They may sell or close their practice for financial reasons, such as in the event of the negative financial consequences incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians may retire. They may get sick and pass away. In short, while there are numerous reasons that a practice may close, patients and their families may encounter significant barriers to obtaining medical records if a physicians practice closes and there isnt a robust plan in place to provide patients easy access to their records.