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Hawaii Medical Records Laws

Oftentimes, getting the best care from our doctors means trusting them with our complete medical history. And while we want to trust that medical professionals will keep our personal health information and records safe and secure, it would be reassuring to know what laws the Aloha State has enacted to control access to our medical records. This is a quick introduction to medical records laws in Hawaii.

Medical Records Laws

The privacy protection of medical records normally demands that our medical records are confidential, and state medical records laws determine whether doctors may share your medical information without your permission. Hawaii law limits access to medical records to the patient or the patient’s attorney and patient records are privileged, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Doctors are legally required to report positive tests for certain communicable diseases and conditions that may be dangerous to public health. Records for patients with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) remain confidential.

Medical Records Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii’s medical records statutes are listed below.

Who Has Access to Records?

Patient or his attorney, but doctor may require patient's authorization to make them available to attorney if detrimental to patient's health

Hawaii Revised Statutes 622-57: Availability of Medical Records

What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?

Physicians and psychologists

Hawaii Rules of Evidence 504, 504.1

Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Those with diseases or conditions declared to be communicable or dangerous to the public health

Hawaii Revised Statutes 325-2: Physicians, Laboratory Directors, and Health Care Professionals to Report

Patient Consent and Waiver

-

Insurance Companies

-

Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS

All records of AIDS, HIV, or AIDS-related patients are confidential; release of information under circumstances in H.R.S. 325-101

Along with Hawaii’s statutes, there are also federal laws that keep our medical records confidential. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires doctors and other medical staff to keep medical records confidential unless:

  • You need emergency treatment;
  • You introduce your health or injuries in a court case; or
  • The government requires specific reporting (mostly for births, deaths, and communicable diseases).

Related Resources for Medical Records Laws in Hawaii

State and federal medical records laws, along with their exceptions, can be complicated. You can consult with an experienced Hawaii health care attorney in your area if you would like legal help with a health care matter. And FindLaw’s section on Health Care can provide you with further reading and resources on this topic, including what you should do if you learn your medical records have improperly disclosed.

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