We trust our doctors and hospitals with very private and personal information. And we do so often without taking the time to think about the regulations or how our medical information is stored and shared.
Many of us assume medical records are safe and secure, but what exactly are the First State laws that apply to doctors and hospitals sharing our personal health information? This is a brief summary of medical records laws in Delaware.
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, Delaware 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 Delaware
Medical records statutes in Delaware are highlighted below.
|Who Has Access to Records?||All information and records of known or suspected cases of sexually transmitted disease (STD), including HIV infections, shall be strictly confidential; released only under certain circumstances (Tit.16 §711)|
|What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?||Physicians and psychotherapists (R. Ev. 503). Immunity from liability for reporting, in good faith, child abuse (Tit. 16 §908)|
|Mandatory Reporting Requirements||Sexually transmitted diseases reported to division of Public Health, some reported in number and manner only (Tit. 16 §702)|
|Patient Consent and Waiver||-|
|Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS||Strictly confidential with exceptions made under certain circumstances (Tit. 16 §711)|
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:
Delaware 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 Delaware health care attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s health care law section for more articles and resources on this topic.
Contact a qualified attorney.