Restrictions on the Release of Health Care Information

State and federal laws protect certain types of information in medical records. A specific written authorization by the patient or the patient's legally recognized representative might be required to release these types of information:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse treatment
  • Mental illness
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS

Minor Patients

A competent minor patient's signature might be required to release information related to care of:

  • Mental health conditions for patients 13 years old and older
  • Sexually transmitted disease and HIV/AIDS for patients 14 years old and older
  • Alcohol or drug abuse for patients 13 years old and older
  • Reproductive care for patients 14 years old and older

Authorized Personal Representatives

A legally recognized representative is an individual that may act on behalf of a patient when a patient is not competent and cannot make his or her own health care treatment decisions. In most cases, the personal representative needs legal documentation to demonstrate the authority to sign for the patient. Examples of documentation include a Durable Power of Attorney for health care or letters of guardianship.

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