South Dakota Medical Records Laws

We’ve always shared sensitive information regarding our health and medical history with our doctors, and trusted that neither they nor their medical staff would share that information without our consent. But are there laws in place that ensure they won’t?

This is a quick summary of medical records laws in South Dakota.

South Dakota Medical Records Laws

South Dakota's medical records laws hold all privileged patient medical records as confidential, and available to pharmacists when necessary. South Dakota law works in tandem with federal regulations regarding medical records, under the federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA requires doctors and their staff to keep your medical records strictly confidential. There are three (3) exceptions to this rule:

  1. If you need emergency treatment and are incapacitated, doctors can share medical information with the person making medical decisions for you;
  2. If you have a court case involving an accident or worker’s compensation and you introduce your health or injuries, doctors may reveal your medical history; or
  3. If the government requires specific reporting (mostly for births, deaths, and communicable diseases, doctors must provide this information for public health reasons.

Are My Medical Records Private?

The privacy and integrity of patients' medical records are protected by both federal and state laws. South Dakota health records laws require physicians and other medical workers to report instances of communicable disease such as HIV/AIDS in order to protect the general public.

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

Code Section(s) §36-2-16 et seq.
Who Has Access to Records? Patient or representative
What Privileges Apply to Medical Records? Physician and psychotherapist (§19-13-7)
Mandatory Reporting Requirements Venereal disease (34-23-2); child abuse or neglect (26-8A-3)
Insurance Companies Division of Insurance must keep medical records confidential (§58-4-5)
Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS Victims of sexual assault may request testing and receive notification of results (23A-35B-1, et seq.)

Note: State laws surrounding the issues of privacy and patients' rights are constantly changing. You may wish to contact a South Dakota health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. Most attorneys offer free consultations.

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