2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 19a-490b. Furnishing of health records and veterans\' information. Access to tissue slides or blocks.

      Sec. 19a-490b. Furnishing of health records and veterans' information. Access to tissue slides or blocks. (a) Upon the written request of a patient or the patient's attorney or authorized representative, or pursuant to a written authorization, an institution licensed pursuant to this chapter shall furnish to the person making such request a copy of the patient's health record, including but not limited to, copies of bills, laboratory reports, prescriptions and other technical information used in assessing the patient's health condition. In addition, an institution shall provide the patient or the patient's designated health care provider with a reasonable opportunity to examine retained tissue slides and retained pathology tissue blocks. Upon the written request of the patient, the patient's attorney or the patient's designated health care provider, an institution shall send the original retained tissue slide or original retained tissue block directly to the patient's designated licensed institution, laboratory or physician. If the original slide or block is not available or if a new section cut of the original slide or block is a fair representation of the original slide or block, then the institution may send the new section cut, which is clearly labeled as a new section cut, to the patient's designated health care provider. Any patient or the patient's attorney or authorized representative who is provided with an original retained slide, tissue block or a new section under the provisions of this subsection shall be solely responsible for safeguarding and returning the slide, block or new section to the institution. Any institution or laboratory that has released an original slide, an original tissue block or new section pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall not be subject to any liability arising out of releasing or not retaining the slide, block or new section and no cause of action for damages shall arise against any such institution for releasing or not retaining the slide, block or new section. No such institution shall charge more than sixty-five cents per page, including any research fees, clerical fees, handling fees or related costs, and the cost of first class postage, if applicable, for furnishing or providing access to a health record pursuant to this subsection, except such an institution may charge the amount necessary to cover its cost of materials for furnishing a copy of an x-ray or for furnishing an original retained slide, an original tissue block or a new section cut from a retained pathology tissue block. For purposes of this subsection, "health care provider" means an institution or laboratory licensed under this chapter or licensed in the state where located or a physician licensed under chapter 370 or licensed in the state where located.

      (b) No institution licensed pursuant to this chapter shall charge for furnishing a health record or part thereof to a patient, his attorney or conservator 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 for the records is accompanied by documentation of the claim or appeal. An institution shall furnish the requested record within thirty days of the request, unless the request was received in less than thirty days subsequent to the date the patient was discharged, in which case the institution shall furnish the requested record upon its completion.

      (c) Each institution licensed pursuant to this chapter shall maintain information regarding each patient's status as a veteran, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103. Said information shall be made available, upon request, to any duly authorized representative of the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

      (d) No institution may deny a person the records available under subsection (a) of this section because of the person's inability to pay the required fees. An affidavit from such person attesting to an inability to pay such fees shall be presumptive evidence thereof.

      (P.A. 92-78, S. 2, 3; P.A. 93-316, S. 1; P.A. 96-36; P.A. 97-216; P.A. 98-144.)

      History: P.A. 93-316 amended Subsec. (a) by requiring institution to furnish copy of patient's health record to patient's attorney or authorized representative upon written request or pursuant to written authorization and added "including any research fees, handling fees or related costs" after "sixty-five cents per page" and added "of materials" after "cost"; P.A. 96-36 added Subsec. (c) to require institutions to maintain and make available information re patient's status as veteran; P.A. 97-216 added clerical fees to Subsec. (a), replaced authorized representative with conservator in Subsec. (b) and added new Subsec. (d) re inability to pay; P.A. 98-144 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions re examination and access to tissue slides and retained tissue blocks or new section cut, responsibility for safeguarding and returning slide, block or new section and immunity of laboratory for releasing or not retaining slide, block or new section and charges by institution for furnishing slide, block or new section.

      Statute does not afford patients a right to possession of those components of their hospital records that cannot be duplicated. 246 C. 45.

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