North Carolina Medical Records Laws

Privacy of Medical Records in General

The privacy and integrity of patients' medical records are protected by both federal and state laws, such as the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Many of the state health records laws require physicians and other medical workers to report instances of communicable disease in order to protect the general public. If they end up in the wrong hands, medical records could be exploited in a number of ways, including discrimination by employers.

Although these laws generally prohibit the sharing of a patient's medical records, third parties regularly require access to certain documents in order to complete a process. For example, your employer may need to verify the validity of a workers' compensation claim, but cannot gain unfettered access to your records (only that which is relevant to the claim). Also, insurance companies and pharmacists require access to otherwise restricted medical records.

North Carolina Medical Records Privacy Laws: At a Glance

North Carolina's medical records laws hold all privileged patient medical records as confidential, available to pharmacists when necessary. In cases where a medical professional suspects child abuse, however, that person is required to report these findings to law enforcement.

Learn more about North Carolina medical records laws below, with links to additional sources. See FindLaw's Patient Rights section for more information.

Who Has Access to Records? All privileged patient medical records possessed by Department of Health or local health department are confidential (§130A-12); pharmacists when necessary to provide services (§90-85.35)
What Privileges Apply to Medical Records? Physician (§8-53), except in cases of alleged child abuse (§8-53.1)
Mandatory Reporting Requirements Physicians, lab directors and local health directors must report communicable diseases; hospitals may report (§130A-134, et seq.)
Patient Consent and Waiver -
Insurance Companies -
Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS All AIDS information and records are confidential; subject to release only according to §130A-143

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions or other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a North Carolina health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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