- If you tell me you are going to hurt a specific person, and you pose a "serious danger," I have a legal duty to act to protect the potential victim. (California Tarasoff case)
- If you are diagnosed with AIDS or certain other communicable disease, I (or any doctor) am required to report it.
- If you represent a danger driving, I (or any doctor) am required to report it to the DMV.
- If I suspect child abuse or elder abuse, I (or any doctor) am required to report it.
- If you are involved in a lawsuit or trial proceeding, your medical record could be subpoenaed (CA civil code 56.10b). Psychotherapy notes have a higher level of protection from the Supreme Court's ruling in Jaffee v. Redmond.
- If you use insurance to pay for treatment, your records can be released to the insurance company "to the extent necessary to allow responsibility for payment to be determined." (CA civil code 56.10c).
- If your information is released to a third party (such as pharmacy or insurance company), it is possible the information is subject to "redisclosure" - they might release it to another party.
Other situations could arise which I would be happy to discuss with you. I go into detail here because I feel it is important to keep my patients informed about anything I know that might affect our treatment relationship.
You also have rights regarding your access to the records I keep. These are specified in the California Health and Safety Code, sections 123110-123149.5 (also known as the Patient Access to Medical Records Act). Specifically:
- You have the right to see and get a copy of my records. Such requests should be made in writing. I have the right to deny such a request if there is "substantial risk of significant adverse or detrimental consequences" to your seeing my records. If this were to ever happen, you have the right to have a third party physician or therapist review the record to see if denial is justified.
- If you feel there are errors in my record, you have the right ask to add amendments to it. Such requests should be made in writing.
- You have the right to restrict certain uses and disclosures of your health information. I will comply as possible subject to legal or safety requirements.