Medical records are considered highly confidential and are protected by both federal and state laws. The sensitive, personally identifying information found in medical records could be used by others for illegitimate purposes, such as an employer discriminating against a job applicant with a genetic predisposition for cancer.
However, statistical health care and medical information may be shared in the absence of personally identifying data in order to track communicable diseases, gauge the health of communities, and do additional types of research. Generally, medical records are accessible only to the medical care providers (and authorized health care and health insurance administrators) who need it for legitimate purposes.
Medical Records and Privacy in New Hampshire: Overview
The state of New Hampshire considers all medical records the property of the patient, although an individual with power of attorney or a party that has been given written consent may also access these records.
Additional details of New Hampshire'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?||Records are deemed property of patient (§332-I:1); anyone with durable power of attorney for health care for patient (§137-J:7); patient and one with his written consent or with written certification of ombudsman (§161-F:14); no employee may be required to bear cost of any medical exam or furnish any records required by employer as condition of employment (§275:3)|
|What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?||Doctor-patient (§329:26)|
|Mandatory Reporting Requirements||Communicable diseases (141-C:7)|
|Patient Consent and Waiver||-|
|Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS||All records and information pertaining to person's HIV testing are confidential and protected from unwarranted intrusion (141-F:8)|
Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, decisions from higher courts, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a New Hampshire 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
New Hampshire Medical Records Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.