Massachusetts Medical Records Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy, clarity, and style by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and attorneys and in accordance with our editorial standards.
The last updated date refers to the last time this article was reviewed by FindLaw or one of our contributing authors. We make every effort to keep our articles updated. For information regarding a specific legal issue affecting you, please contact an attorney in your area.
Both federal and state laws, including the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) protect the privacy and integrity of patients' medical records. Despite patient privacy, many state health records laws require physicians and other medical workers to report certain medical conditions when necessary to protect the general public or the patient. In Massachusetts, medical records laws hold all privileged patient medical records as confidential and allow third-party access under limited circumstances.
Learn more about Massachusetts medical records laws with the below chart and links to additional sources.
Who Has Access to Records?
Patients have a right to confidentiality of all records and communications with medical professional to the extent provided by law. They may inspect and receive copy of their medical records, but the healthcare provider will keep the original copy of the records to make sure future healthcare providers will receive necessary medical information.
A psychotherapist may give a summary of the medical record if a full report would adversely affect a patient's well being (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 112, section 12CC). Generally, mental health records are private except in the following circumstances:
Medical professionals may also release records to an authorized person if the patient is a minor or to an executor or administrator of an estate if the patient is deceased.
|Mandatory Reporting Requirements||
In certain situations, medical personnel must report patient injuries:
In addition to mandatory reporting requirements, a physician may report a venereal disease to patient's fiancé or parents (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, section12).
Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS
Labs and hospitals that conduct blood tests for HIV/AIDS must not disclose results without obtaining written informed consent of patients (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 111, section 70F)
Research the Law:
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Related Resources for Medical Records Laws:
- FindLaw's Patient Rights section
- Protect Your Medical Privacy
- Health Care and the Law
Patients who believe their privacy rights may have been violated should consider contacting a Massachusetts health care attorney.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.