The privacy of one's medical records is protected by both federal and state law, which generally consider this information confidential. Under Tennessee law, hospital records are considered property of the hospital and only accessible by court order or a written request by the patient. The state also has mandatory reporting requirements for communicable diseases and sexually transmitted infections.
State law also recognizes the need for insurance company administrators and other third parties to have access to medical records. For instance, an employer may have to access sensitive medical information when a workers' compensation claim is being filed. In fact, employers typically are required to fill out a detailed injury report when filing a claim with their insurer.
Below is a list of the main provisions of Tennessee's medical records privacy laws, with links to additional sources.
|Who Has Access to Records?||Hospital records property of hospital, upon court order or written request of patient may see (§68-11-304); medical records of patients in state facilities and those whose care is paid for by state funds are confidential (§10-7-504)|
|What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?||Psychiatrists (§24-1-207); psychologists (§63-11-213)|
|Mandatory Reporting Requirements||Communicable diseases (68-5-101); sexually transmitted diseases (68-10-101)|
|Patient Consent and Waiver||-|
|Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS||Law enforcement officer may request arrested person be tested for Hepatitis B or HIV if exposed to blood (68-10-116); records strictly confidential; released as per 68-10-113|
Note: State laws are constantly changing. FindLaw makes every effort to keep these pages up-to-date, but it may be a good idea to also contact a Tennessee health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
How Does Federal Law Protect Patients' Privacy?
Title II of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) addresses the privacy of all medical information transferred among different parties. It establishes rules for maintaining an efficient flow of data without compromising patient privacy. For instance, doctors may be held liable for disclosure of a patient's personally identifiable data along with private medical information.
Research the Law
Tennessee Medical Records Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.