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New York Medical Records Laws

New York Medical Record Laws at a Glance

Medical records in America are not always easily accessible. The records are considered highly sensitive and available only to those who need to know and/or have been given consent. Federal laws govern the privacy protection of medical records, along with some state laws. New York medical records laws lay out a patient's right to keep sensitive medical records confidential, including records of abortions and venereal disease. A New York physician can release medical files to other doctors or hospitals upon written request of patient or parents.

In addition, New York law protects the confidentiality of all HIV-related information, with some limited exceptions. For example, health care providers and facilities that need to know about HIV infection in order to avoid infection when providing care may access such information.

The Doctor-Patient Privilege and Confidentiality of Medical Records

Your doctor is required by law to keep your medical information confidential, which includes inquiries by others in positions of authority. For instance, physicians cannot testify in court regarding any communications protected by this privilege. Patients are free to waive this privilege, however.

The following table highlights the basics of New York medical records laws. See Can Doctors Ever Give My Personal Medical Information to Others Without My Permission? for more general information.

Who Has Access to Records? Medical director of prison in reference to inmate (Corr. §601); ombudsman (Exec §544-a); inspector of a mental facility (Men. Hyg. §16.11); physician or hospital must release medical file to another physician or hospital upon written request of parent, guardian, or patient; records concerning venereal disease treatment or abortion for minor may not be released, even to parent (Pub. Health §17)
What Privileges Apply to Medical Records? Physician, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor, and nurse. (Civ. Prac. §4504)
Mandatory Reporting Requirements -
Patient Consent and Waiver -
Insurance Companies -
Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS All HIV-related information is confidential and may only be disclosed in limited circumstances (Pub. Health §2782)

Note: State laws are constantly changing --you should consider contacting a New York attorney as well as conducting your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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