Medical records can be particularly revealing and are considered private by both federal and state laws. Genetic data could be used to discriminate against a job applicant with a genetic predisposition for alcoholism, for example, while notes taken by psychologists could be used by a third party for blackmail purposes. For the most part, medical records are available only to patients and the care providers and administrators authorized to access these records (such as those working in an insurance billing department). Patients may also authorize the release of their own medical records.
Medical Records Laws In Nebraska at a Glance
Under Nebraska law, medical records are restricted to patients, their representatives (such as legal counsel), counsel for mentally ill patients, and government agencies in limited situations. For instance, certain diseases and injuries are reported to state agencies for record-keeping purposes, as long as personally identifying data is not included.
Additional details of Nebraska's medical records laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Patient Rights Basics section for related articles.
|Who Has Access to Records?||Counsel for mentally ill patient (§83-1053); institutional mental health records only accessible to patient, representative, and certain government agencies (§83-1068)|
|What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?||Physicians (§27-504)|
|Mandatory Reporting Requirements||Reporting of patients with cancer to Dept. of Health upon its request for Cancer Registry (§81-642); brain injuries for Brain Injury Registry (§81.654); all "reportable diseases" (including sexually transmitted diseases) (§71.503.01)|
|Patient Consent and Waiver||-|
|Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS||-|
Note: State laws are not carved in stone and may change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through appellate court decisions and other means. You should contact a Nebraska health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Federal Privacy Protections
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) created nationwide standards for the privacy protection of electronically stored medical information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also enacted a requirement that medical professionals keep any individually identifiable information, such as Social Security numbers, confidential.
Research the Law
Nebraska Medical Records Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.