Selected State Disclosure Laws
ALABAMA: Medical records of “notifiable diseases” (those diseases or illnesses that doctors are required to report to state officials) are strictly confidential. Written consent of patient is required for release of information regarding sexually transmitted disease. (Ch. 22-11A-2, 22)
ALASKA: Mental health records may be disclosed only with patient consent/court order/law enforcement reasons (Ch. 47.30.845). In cases of emergency medical services, records of those treated may be disclosed to specified persons. (Ch. 18.08.086). Express language permits disclosure of financial records of medical assistance beneficiaries to the Dept. of Social Services. (Ch. 47.07.074)
ARIZONA: There are mandatory reporting requirements for malnourishment, physical neglect, sexual abuse, non-accidental injury, or other deprivation with intent to cause or allow death of minor children, but the records remain confidential outside judicial matters (Ch. 13-3620). Access to other medical records is by consent or pursuant to exceptions outlined in Ch. 36-664.
ARKANSAS: Arkansas has a special privilege permitting doctors to deny giving patients or their attorneys or guardians certain medical records upon a showing of “detrimentality” (Ch.16-46-106). Otherwise, access by patients and their attorneys are covered under Ch. 23-76-129 and 16-46-106.
CALIFORNIA: Doctors may withhold certain mental health records from patients if disclosure would have an adverse effect on patient. (H&S Section 1795.12 and.14).
COLORADO: Doctors are permitted to withhold from patients psychiatric records that would have a significant negative psychological impact; in those cases, doctors may prepare a summary statement of what the records contain (Ch.25-1-801). There are mandatory disclosure requirements for certain diseases (Ch 25-1-122).
CONNECTICUT: Limited disclosure of mental health records (Ch. 4-105) and limited disclosure to state officials (Ch.53-146h; 17b-225).
DELAWARE: Strict disclosure prohibitions about sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infections (Tit. 16-711). However, such diseases must be reported to division of Public Health, by number and manner only (Title 16-702).
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Public mental health facilities must release records to the patient’s attorney or personal physician (21-562).
FLORIDA: Mental health records may be provided in the form of a report instead of actual annotations (455-241). Patient consent is required for general medical records releases except by subpoena or consent to compulsory physical exam pursuant to Civil Rule of Procedure 1.360 (455-241).
GEORGIA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for child abuse and venereal disease. (Ch. 19-7-5; 31-17-2)
HAWAII: Hawaii Revised Statute 325-2 provides for mandatory disclosure to state officials for communicable disease or danger to public health. Names appearing in public studies such as the Hawaii Tumor Registry are confidential and no person who provides information is liable for it (324-11, et seq.).
IDAHO: There is mandatory disclosure for child abuse cases within 24 hours (16-1619) and sexually transmitted diseases (39-601). Both doctors and nurses may request protective orders to deny or limit disclosure (9-420).
ILLINOIS: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for child abuse and sexually transmitted diseases (325 Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated 5/4).
INDIANA: Insurance companies may obtain information with written consent (Ch 16-39-5-2). Mandatory disclosure to state officials for child abuse and sexually transmitted diseases (31-6-11-3 and 4) (16-41-2-3).
IOWA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials of sexually transmitted diseases (Ch. 140.3 and 4).
KANSAS: Mandatory disclosure to state health officials of AIDS (65-6002(c)). Mental health records only released by patient consent, court order, or consent of the head of mental health treating facility (59-2931).
KENTUCKY: Either patient or physician may ask for protective order (422-315). Patients must make written requests for records (422.317).
LOUISIANA: Louisiana Code of Evidence, Article 510 waives health care provider-patient privilege in cases or child abuse or molestation. Mandatory disclosure of HIV information (Ch.1300-14 and 1300-15).
MAINE: Doctors may withhold mental health records if detrimental to patient’s health (22-1711.20-A Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, Section 254, Subsection 5, requires schools to adopt local written policies and procedures).
MARYLAND: Physicians may inform local health officers of needle-sharing partners or sexual partners in cases of transmittable diseases (18-337).
MASSACHUSETTS: Any injury from the discharge of a gun or a burn affecting more than five percent of the body, rape or sexual assault triggers mandatory disclosure law (Ch. 112-12A). No statutory privilege.
MICHIGAN: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for communicable diseases (MCL.333.5117).
MINNESOTA: Minnesota Statutes Annotated 144.335 authorizes withholding mental health records if information is detrimental to well-being of patient. Sex crime victims can require HIV testing of sex offender and have access to results (611A.07).
MISSISSIPPI: Patient waiver is implied for mandatory disclosures to state health officials. Peer review boards assessing the quality of care for medical or dental care providers may have access to patient records without the disclosure of patient’s identity (41-63-1, 63-3).
MISSOURI: Information concerning a person’s HIV status is confidential and may be disclosed only according to Section 191.656.
MONTANA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for sexually transmitted disease. (Ch. 50-18-106). Recognized exceptions for release of records without patient consent (e.g. mental incompetency) are covered under 50-16-530.
NEBRASKA: Nebraska Revised Statutes 81-642 requires reporting of patients with cancer for the Dept. of Health’s Cancer Registry. The Dept. also maintains a Brain Injury Registry (81-651). Mandatory disclosure to state officials for sexually transmitted disease. (71-503.01).
NEVADA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for communicable disease. (441A.150) There is a state requirement to forward medical records (with or without consent) upon transfer to a new medical facility (433.332; 449,705).
NEW HAMPSHIRE: New Hampshire maintains that medical records are the property of the patient (332:I-1) Mandatory disclosure to state officials for communicable disease (141-C:7).
NEW JERSEY: Limited right of access to mental health records for attorneys and next of kin. Mandatory disclosure to state officials for child abuse (9:6-8.30), pertussis vaccine (26:2N-5), sexually transmitted disease.(26:4-41), or AIDS (26:5C-6).
NEW MEXICO: Mandatory disclosure of sexually transmitted diseases (24-1-7).
NEW YORK: Records concerning sexually transmitted disease or abortion for minors may not be released, not even to parents (NY Pub. Health 17).
NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina General Statute 130A-133, et seq. provides for mandatory disclosure to state officials for communicable disease.
NORTH DAKOTA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for child abuse, communicable diseases, or chronic diseases that impact the public (23-07-01, 50-25.1-01).
OHIO: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for child abuse (2151-421), occupational diseases (3701.25), contagious disease including AIDS (3701.24), or cases to be included on the Cancer Registry (3701.262).
OKLAHOMA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for child abuse, communicable or venereal diseases (23-07-01, 50-25.1-01).
OREGON: Oregon Revised Statute 146-750 provides for mandatory disclosure of medical records involving suspected violence, physical injury with a knife, gun, or other deadly weapon.
PENNSYLVANIA: Mental health records in state agencies must remain confidential (Title 50-7111).
RHODE ISLAND: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for occupational disease (Ch. 23-5-5), communicable or venereal diseases (23-8-1, 23-11-5).
SOUTH CAROLINA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for sexually transmitted disease (z016744-29-70). There is also express privilege for mental health provider-patient relationships under Ch. 19-11-95.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for venereal disease (34-23-2) or child abuse or neglect (26-8A-3).
TENNESSEE: There are also requirements for mandatory disclosure to state officials for communicable disease (68-5-101) or sexually transmitted diseases (68-10-101).
TEXAS: There are mandatory disclosure requirements for bullet or gunshot wounds (Health & Safety 161.041), certain occupational diseases (Health & Safety 84.003) and certain communicable diseases (Health & Safety 81.041).
UTAH: There are mandatory disclosure requirements for suspected child abuse (62A-4A-403), communicable and infectious diseases (including HIV and AIDS) (26-6-3).
VERMONT: Records concerning sexually transmitted disease require mandatory reporting (Title 18-1093). Any HIV-related record of testing or counseling may be disclosed only with a court order evidencing “compelling need.” (Title 12-1705).
VIRGINIA: Mental health professionals may withhold records from patient if release would be injurious to patient’s health. (8.01-413).
WASHINGTON: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for sexually transmitted disease (70.24.105) child abuse (26.44.030) or tuberculosis (70.28.010).
WEST VIRGINIA: Mandatory disclosure to state officials for venereal, communicable disease (Ch. 16-4-6; 16-2A-5; 26-5A-4), suspected child abuse (49-6A-2), gunshot and other wounds or burns (61-2-27).
WISCONSIN: There are mandatory reporting requirements for sexually transmitted diseases (252.11), tuberculosis (252.07), child abuse (48.981) and communicable diseases (252.05).
WYOMING: Rather than expressly creating a statutory privilege, Wyoming addresses the matter by limiting doctors’ testimony to instances where patients have expressly consented or where patients voluntarily testify themselves on their medical conditions (putting their medical conditions “at issue”) (Ch. 1-12-101). There are mandatory reporting requirements for sexually transmitted diseases, child abuse, and communicable diseases (14-3-205, 35-4-130, 35-4-103).