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Louisiana Medical Records Laws

In order to get proper medical care, we need to trust our doctors and hospitals with some very private and personal information. And most of the time, we don’t even consider the regulations regarding how this medical information is stored and shared. While we assume our medical records are safe and secure, what exactly are the laws that apply to doctors and hospitals sharing our personal health information in the Bayou State? Here is a brief overview of medical records laws in Louisiana.

Medical Records Laws

Both federal and state medical records laws regulate the privacy protection of medical records. As a general rule, medical records are confidential, and aside from a court order, Louisiana law limits access to medical records to the patient. But there are some exceptions, like positive HIV tests, certain communicable diseases, and whether a potential motor vehicle driver may be impaired, under which medical professionals are required to report health information. Medical records statutes determine whether doctors may share your medical information without your permission.

Medical Records Laws in Louisiana

The basics of medical records statutes in Louisiana are listed below.

Who Has Access to Records?

Louisiana Revised Statutes 40:1165.1: Health Care Information

Healthcare providers must provide copies of records upon patient's request (unless injurious to health or welfare of patient) or subject to subpoena (§)

What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?

Louisiana Code of Evidence 510: Health Care Provider - Patient Privilege

Healthcare provider-patient (usually waived in cases of child abuse or molestation)

Mandatory Reporting Requirements


Patient Consent and Waiver


Insurance Companies


Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS

Louisiana Revised Statutes 40:1171.4.: Confidentiality of HIV Test Results

Information related to HIV is confidential; disclosure according to 40:1171.5

Federal protections also apply to our medical records, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which requires doctors and their staff to keep medical records confidential, unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • A patient needs emergency treatment;
  • A patient introduces his or her health or injuries in a court case; or
  • The government requires specific reporting (mostly for births, deaths, and communicable diseases.

Louisiana Medical Records Laws: Related Resources

The laws that cover our medical records can be complicated. You can visit FindLaw’s health care law section for more resources and information on this topic, including what you should do if you learn your medical records have improperly disclosed. You can also contact a Louisiana health care attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding a health care matter.

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