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Indiana Medical Records Laws

As patients, we tend to trust our doctors with extremely private and personal information. And rarely do we take the time to wonder about the rules and regulations regarding how our medical information is shared and stored. We may think our medical records are safe and secure, but are there laws that apply to doctors and hospitals sharing our personal health information? The answer in the Hoosier State is, “Yes.” This is a brief summary of medical records laws in Indiana.

General Medical Records Laws

Your medical records are generally protected by a combination of state and federal laws governing the privacy protection of medical records. These laws determine whether doctors may share your medical information without your permission. Under most circumstances, your personal medical information is confidential.

However, nearly every state requires medical professionals to report suspected child abuse, positive HIV tests, and certain communicable diseases to the proper authorities. Under Indiana medical records laws, only the patient, authorized representative, or an authorized health case worker has access to medical records, except by subpoena or other court order.

Medical Records Laws in Indiana

Each state can have varying medical records laws, but all states must adhere to federal laws. The main provisions of Indiana medical record laws are listed in the chart below.

Who Has Access to Records?

Patient, authorized representative, authorized health care worker (34-43-1-1, et. seq.; 16-41-8-1, et seq.)

What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?

Physicians (34-46-3-1)

Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Child abuse, HIV, and certain communicable diseases (31-33-5-1, §16-41-2-2)

Patient Consent and Waiver

-

Insurance Companies

Insurance company may obtain records with written consent (§16-39-5-2)

Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS

All HIV cases must be reported (§16-41-2-3)

Along with Indiana’s statutes, a federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the confidentiality of medical records. HIPAA requires doctors and their staff to keep your medical records confidential unless one of three exceptions applies:

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

Indiana Medical Records Laws: Related Resources

Laws regarding medical records can seem complex and confusing, especially when dealing with your personal health history. If you would like legal assistance regarding a health care case, you can contact a Indiana health care attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s health care law section for more general information, including what you should do if you learn your medical records have improperly disclosed.

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