CHAPTER 369
HEALING ARTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-7c. Access to medical records. Notification to patient of certain test results. Authority of provider to withhold information.

      Sec. 20-7c. Access to medical records. Notification to patient of certain test results. Authority of provider to withhold information. (a) For purposes of this section, "clinical laboratory" has the same meaning as provided in section 19a-30. "Clinical laboratory" does not include any state laboratory established by the Department of Public Health pursuant to section 19a-26 or 19a-29.

      (b) Except as provided for in subsection (e) of this section, a provider shall (1) supply to a patient upon request complete and current information possessed by that provider concerning any diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the patient, and (2) notify a patient of any test results in the provider's possession or requested by the provider for the purposes of diagnosis, treatment or prognosis of such patient. In addition, upon the request of a patient or a provider who orders medical tests on behalf of a patient, a clinical laboratory shall provide medical test results relating to the patient to any other provider who is treating the patient for the purposes of diagnosis, treatment or prognosis of such patient.

      (c) A provider, who requests that his or her patient submit to repeated medical testing at regular intervals, over a specified period of time, for purposes of ascertaining a diagnosis, prognosis or recommended course of treatment for such patient, may issue a single authorization that allows the entity that conducts such medical testing, including, but not limited to, a clinical laboratory, to directly communicate the results of such testing to the patient for the period of time that such testing is requested by the provider.

      (d) Upon a written request of a patient, a patient's attorney or authorized representative, or pursuant to a written authorization, a provider, except as provided in section 4-194, shall furnish to the person making such request a copy of the patient's health record, including but not limited to, bills, x-rays and copies of laboratory reports, contact lens specifications based on examinations and final contact lens fittings given within the preceding three months or such longer period of time as determined by the provider but no longer than six months, records of prescriptions and other technical information used in assessing the patient's health condition. No provider shall refuse to return to a patient original records or copies of records that the patient has brought to the provider from another provider. When returning records to a patient, a provider may retain copies of such records for the provider's file, provided such provider does not charge the patient for the costs incurred in copying such records. No provider shall charge more than sixty-five cents per page, including any research fees, handling fees or related costs, and the cost of first class postage, if applicable, for furnishing a health record pursuant to this subsection, except such provider may charge a patient the amount necessary to cover the cost of materials for furnishing a copy of an x-ray, provided no such charge shall be made for furnishing a health record or part thereof to a patient, a patient's attorney or authorized representative if the record or part thereof is necessary for the purpose of supporting a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act and the request is accompanied by documentation of the claim or appeal. A provider shall furnish a health record requested pursuant to this section within thirty days of the request. No health care provider, who has purchased or assumed the practice of a provider who is retiring or deceased, may refuse to return original records or copied records to a patient who decides not to seek care from the successor provider. When returning records to a patient who has decided not to seek care from a successor provider, such provider may not charge a patient for costs incurred in copying the records of the retired or deceased provider.

      (e) If a provider reasonably determines that the information is detrimental to the physical or mental health of the patient, or is likely to cause the patient to harm himself, herself or another, the provider may withhold the information from the patient. The information may be supplied to an appropriate third party or to another provider who may release the information to the patient. If disclosure of information is refused by a provider under this subsection, any person aggrieved thereby may, within thirty days of such refusal, petition the superior court for the judicial district in which such person resides for an order requiring the provider to disclose the information. Such a proceeding shall be privileged with respect to assignment for trial. The court, after hearing and an in camera review of the information in question, shall issue the order requested unless it determines that such disclosure would be detrimental to the physical or mental health of the person or is likely to cause the person to harm himself, herself or another.

      (f) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any information relative to any psychiatric or psychological problems or conditions.

      (g) In the event that a provider abandons his or her practice, the Commissioner of Public Health may appoint a licensed health care provider to be the keeper of the records, who shall be responsible for disbursing the original records to the provider's patients, upon the request of any such patient.

      (h) The Commissioner of Public Health shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this section.

      (P.A. 83-413, S. 2; P.A. 86-43, S. 2; P.A. 91-137, S. 2; P.A. 93-316, S. 3; P.A. 94-158, S. 2; P.A. 95-100; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2, S. 44; P.A. 04-165, S. 1; P.A. 08-184, S. 32; P.A. 10-117, S. 5; P.A. 11-76, S. 1; 11-242, S. 79.)

      History: P.A. 86-43 amended Subsec. (b) to limit the cost to the patient for a copy of a health record; P.A. 91-137 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that no charge be made for furnishing a health record to a patient for the purpose of supporting a claim under the Social Security Act and to require that a requested record be furnished within 30 days of the request; P.A. 93-316 amended Subsec. (b) by requiring provider to furnish copy of patient's health record upon written request of patient's attorney or authorized representative or upon written authorization, added "bills" as part of record and increased maximum charge per page from $0.25 to $0.45 per page, provided provider may charge cost necessary for furnishing copy of x-ray; P.A. 94-158 amended Subsec. (b) to specify that the maximum per page charge allowed for furnishing a health record includes any research fees, handling fees or related costs; P.A. 95-100 amended Subsec. (b) to add the provision on contact lenses and to limit access to prescriptions to "records of" prescriptions; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2 amended Subsec. (a) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1) and adding Subdiv. (2) re notification of certain test results; P.A. 04-165 defined "provider" in new Subsec. (a), redesignated existing Subsecs. (a) to (d) as new Subsecs. (b) to (e), respectively, amended new Subsec. (b) to make a technical change and, in Subdiv. (2), to delete provision re indication of need for further treatment or diagnosis and add requirement of notification to patient of test results requested by provider, deleted reference to Sec. 20-7b in new Subsec. (d) and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 08-184 amended Subsec. (c) by substituting "sixty-five" for "forty-five" cents re maximum per page fee that provider may charge for providing health record copies on patient's behalf; P.A. 10-117 amended Subsec. (c) by prohibiting provider from refusing to return original records or copies of records that patient brought from another provider, by prohibiting provider who purchased or assumed practice from refusing to return original records or copies of records when patient decides not to seek care from such provider and by permitting such providers to retain copies of such records provided patient is not charged for copying costs and added Subsec. (f) re appointment of licensed health care provider to be keeper of records for provider who has abandoned his or her practice; P.A. 11-76 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing definition of "provider" with definition of "clinical laboratory", amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re clinical laboratory's ability to share medical test results with patient's treating providers and by making technical changes, added new Subsec. (c) re provider's ability to authorize entity that conducts repeated medical testing of a patient to directly communicate results of such testing to the patient, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (f) as Subsecs. (d) to (g), amended Subsec. (e) by making technical changes and added Subsec. (h) re regulations; P.A. 11-242 made identical changes as P.A. 11-76.

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