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Maryland Medical Records Laws

When you think about it, we trust our doctors and hospitals with very private and personal information. Often without taking the time to think about the regulations regarding how our medical information is stored and shared.

Many of us assume medical records are safe and secure, but what exactly are the Old Line State laws that apply to doctors and hospitals sharing our personal health information? This is a brief summary of medical records laws in Maryland.

Medical Records Laws

The privacy protection of medical records is governed by a combination of federal and state medical records laws. Generally, your medical records are confidential, and these statutes determine whether doctors may share your medical information without your permission. Aside from a court order, Maryland law limits access to medical records to the patient. But there are some situations in which medical professionals are required to report health information, like positive HIV tests, certain communicable diseases, and whether a potential motor vehicle driver may be impaired.

Medical Records Laws in Maryland

Medical records statutes in Maryland are highlighted below.

Who Has Access to Records?

Records of Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene must be kept confidential. It is unlawful to disclose them except for research (HG §4-101, et seq.)

What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?

Psychologist/psychiatrist-patient (C & JP §9-109)

Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Medical Advisory Board allowed to report to Motor Vehicle Administration on patients whose driving may be impaired for mental or physical reasons (Transp. §16-118) Physicians must report infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS (HG §18-201)

Patient Consent and Waiver

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Insurance Companies

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Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS

Test results confidential (Health-Gen. §18-334) but if individual refuses to notify sexual or needle-sharing partners physician may inform local health officer (HG §18-337)

As noted above, there are also federal medical records protections, most of which are listed in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA requires doctors and their staff to keep your medical records confidential, unless one of these exceptions applies:

  • A patient needs emergency treatment;
  • A patient introduces his or her health or injuries in a court case; or
  • The government requires specific reporting (mostly for births, deaths, and communicable diseases.

Maryland Medical Records Laws: Related Resources

Medical records laws aren't the easiest to understand. If you would like legal assistance regarding a health care matter, you can contact a Maryland health care attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s health care law section for more articles and resources on this topic, including what you should do if you learn your medical records have improperly disclosed.

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