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Virginia Medical Records Laws

The privacy of patients' medical records is protected by a combination of federal and state laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Virginia Laws Protecting Medical Record Privacy

In Virginia, patients may access their own medical records, but may not see mental records if a physician believes doing so would be injurious to that person's mental health. All HIV/AIDS test results are confidential as well, but available to that patient's lawyer, Dept. of Health, parents (if a minor), spouse, or through a court order.

How Can I Get A Copy of My Virginia Medical Records?

A request for copies of medical records must be in writing, dated and signed by the person making the request, and include a reasonable description of the records sought. If someone is making a request on your behalf, he or she must provide evidence of the authority to receive the records (such as a power of attorney).

Once your health care provider receives the request, he or she has 15 days to do one of the following:

  1. Provide copies of the records;
  2. Inform you if the information does not exist or cannot be found;
  3. Inform you who now maintains the records; or
  4. Deny the records for specific reasons set out under the law.

The main provisions of Virginia's medical records laws are listed in the following chart, with links to additional sources.

Who Has Access to Records? Subject person can review his/her medical and mental records; however, mental records; however, mental records may not be personally reviewed in physician feels review would be injurious to persons physical or mental health or well-being (§2.2-3705); patient or attorney upon patient's written request to hospital or health care records except for records when doctor declares release would be injurious to patient's health or well-being (§8.01-413)
What Privileges Apply to Medical Records? Duly licensed practitioner of any branch of the healing arts dealing with patient in professional capacity including clinical psychologist (§8.01-399)
Mandatory Reporting Requirements -
Patient Consent and Waiver -
Insurance Companies Insurance company must provide medical information to individual or to medical professional designated by individual; must notify individual that information was released at time of disclosure (38.2-608)
Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS All test results are confidential, released only to that person, his legal representative, Department of Health, parents of minor, spouse, by court order, and others authorized by law (§32.1-36.1)

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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