Medical records contain some of our most personal information and can be misused by falling into the wrong hands (for instance, an employer with access to a prospective employee's medical records). Patients' medical records are considered confidential and only accessible by the patient or patient's parents (if a minor), or care providers involved in the patient's health. Patients may authorize the release of their own medical records, which is important when filing injury claims or submitting information to one's employer for workers' compensation purposes.
Many states require the disclosure of certain information to the proper authorities where the public's health is concerned, such as the presence of a communicable disease. The federal government provides protections through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), while state laws often provide additional protections.
Arkansas Medical Records Law at a Glance
Under Arkansas statute, medical records are available only to patients or through a patient's attorney. And while no personally identifying information (such as names or Social Security numbers) may be used, the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services collects data on instances of cancer for the purposes of evaluating cancer control programs.
Additional details of Arkansas medical records laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Patient Rights section for related articles.
|Who Has Access to Records?||Not open to public (§25-19-105); available to patient (§23-76-129); or through patient's attorney (§16-46-106)|
|What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?||Physician or psychotherapist (Rules Ev. 503)|
|Mandatory Reporting Requirements||Physicians must report cases of HIV, Reye's syndrome, and cancer (§20-15-201 et seq.)|
|Patient Consent and Waiver||Express consent (§23-76-129)|
|Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS||Reporting required to Arkansas Dept. of Health by physicians and other medical and lab directors (§20-15-906); all information and reporting confidential (§20-15-904)|
Note: State laws are constantly changing, sometimes without much notice. While we strive for the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact an Arkansas health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Arkansas Medical Records Laws: Related Resources
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