2017 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 13 - Courts and Judicial Procedure
RS 13:3715.1 - Medical or hospital records of a patient; subpoena duces tecum and court order to a health care provider; reimbursement for records produced

NOTE: This provision of law was included in the Unconstitutional Statutes Biennial Report to the Legislature, dated March 14, 2016.

§3715.1. Medical or hospital records of a patient; subpoena duces tecum and court order to a health care provider; reimbursement for records produced

            A. As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the respective meanings ascribed thereto:

            (1) Patient "records" shall not be deemed to include x-rays, electrocardiograms, and like graphic matter unless specifically referred to in the subpoena, summons, or court order.

            (2) "Health care provider" shall mean a person, partnership, corporation, facility, or institution defined in R.S. 40:1299.41(A).

            B. The exclusive method by which medical, hospital, or other records relating to a person's medical treatment, history, or condition may be obtained or disclosed by a health care provider, shall be pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 40:1299.96 or Code of Evidence Article 510, or a lawful subpoena or court order obtained in the following manner:

            (1) A health care provider shall disclose records of a patient who is a party to litigation pursuant to a subpoena issued in that litigation, whether for purposes of deposition or for trial and whether issued in a civil, criminal, workers' compensation, or other proceeding, but only if: the health care provider has received an affidavit of the party or the party's attorney at whose request the subpoena has been issued that attests to the fact that such subpoena is for the records of a party to the litigation and that notice of the subpoena has been mailed by registered or certified mail to the patient whose records are sought, or, if represented, to his counsel of record, at least seven days prior to the issuance of the subpoena; and the subpoena is served on the health care provider at least seven days prior to the date on which the records are to be disclosed, and the health care provider has not received a copy of a petition or motion indicating that the patient has taken legal action to restrain the release of the records. If the requesting party is the patient or, if represented, the attorney for the patient, the affidavit shall state that the patient authorizes the release of the records pursuant to the subpoena. No such subpoena shall be issued by any clerk unless the required affidavit is included with the request.

            (2) Any attorney requesting medical records of a patient, who is not a party to the litigation in which the records are being sought may obtain the records by written authorization of the patient whose records are being sought or if no such authorization is given, by court order, as provided in Paragraph (5) hereof.

            (3) Any attorney requesting medical records of a patient who is deceased may obtain the records by subpoena, as provided in Paragraph (1) hereof, by written authorization of the person authorized under Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.1 or the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate, or by court order, as provided in Paragraph (5) hereof.

            (4) Any subpoena for medical records issued by the office of workers' compensation administration in the Louisiana Workforce Commission, or by a hearing officer or agent employed by such office, shall for all purposes be considered a subpoena within the meaning of this Section.

            (5) A court shall issue an order for the production and disclosure of a patient's records, regardless of whether the patient is a party to the litigation, only: after a contradictory hearing with the patient, or, if represented, with his counsel of record, or, if deceased, with those persons identified in Paragraph (3) hereof, and after a finding by the court that the release of the requested information is proper; or with consent of the patient.

            (6) Records of the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any patient which are maintained in connection with the performance of any program or activity relating to substance or alcohol abuse, education, training, treatment, rehabilitation, or research, which is conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by any department or agency of the United States shall be confidential and disclosed only for the purposes and under the circumstances expressly authorized in 42 CFR Part 2. Under this Section, said programs shall include but not be limited to any alcohol or substance abuse clinic or facility operated by the Louisiana Department of Health. No subpoena or court order shall compel disclosure of any record or patient-identifying information of an individual who has applied for or been given diagnosis or treatment for alcohol or drug abuse in a federally assisted program, unless said court order or subpoena meets the criteria set forth in 42 CFR 2.61, 2.64, or 2.65. No health care provider, employee, or agent thereof shall be held civilly or criminally liable for refusing to disclose protected alcohol and substance abuse records or patient-identifying information unless first presented with a valid consent signed by the individual, which complies with 42 CFR 2.31 or a court order and subpoena which complies with 42 CFR Part 2.

            C. No health care provider, employee, or agent thereof shall be held civilly or criminally liable for disclosure of the records of a patient pursuant to the procedure set forth in this Section, R.S. 40:1299.96, or Code of Evidence Article 510, provided that the health care provider has not received a copy of the petition or motion indicating that legal action has been taken to restrain the release of the records.

            D. Unless the subpoena or court order otherwise specifies, it shall be sufficient compliance therewith if the health care provider delivers by registered or certified mail, at least forty-eight hours prior to the date upon which production is due, or delivers by hand on the date upon which production is due a true and correct copy of all records described in such subpoena. However, no subpoena or court order shall require the production of original, nonreproducible materials and records unless accompanied by a court order or stipulation of the parties and the health care provider which specifies the person who will be responsible for the care of the items to be produced, the date and manner of the return to the provider of the items to be produced, and that the items to be produced are not to be destroyed or subject to destructive testing. Any subpoena duces tecum not timely served shall be quashed by the trial court without the necessity of an appearance by the hospital, health care facility, or medical physician.

            E. The records shall be accompanied by the certificate of the health care provider or other qualified witness, stating in substance each of the following:

            (1) That the copy is a true copy of all records described in the subpoena.

            (2) That the records were prepared by the health care provider in the ordinary course of the business of the health care provider at or near the time of the act, condition, or event.

            F. If the health care provider has none of the records described, or only part thereof, the health care provider shall so state in the certificate, and deliver the certificate and such records as are available.

            G. The health care provider shall be reimbursed by the person causing the issuance of the subpoena, summons, or court order in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 40:1299.96.

            H. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no health care provider, as defined in R.S. 40:1299.96, shall be required to grant access to or copying of photographs, or both, of any minor or part of a minor's body who is alleged to be the victim of child sexual abuse unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a contradictory hearing at which the health care provider may but need not be present, orders the health care provider to grant access to or copying of said photographs to the moving party's counsel of record or experts qualified in the medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse, or to both. The court's order granting the access to or copying of said photographs shall be limited to the movant's counsel of record or the experts qualified in the medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse, or both; shall be limited solely to use of said photographs for the purposes of trial preparation; shall prohibit further copying, reproduction, or dissemination of said photographs; and shall prohibit counsel of record or the experts qualified in the medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse from allowing any other person access to said photographs without court order and for good cause shown.

            I. A coroner, deputy coroner, or other assistant, while acting in his official capacity relating to a physical or mental investigation and examination or an investigation into the cause and manner of a death, is exempt from complying with the provisions of this Section.

            J. The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, Louisiana State Board of Dentistry, Louisiana State Board of Psychologists, Louisiana State Board of Nursing, Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, Louisiana State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, and the Louisiana State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, while acting in an official capacity relating to an investigation of an individual over whom such board has regulatory authority shall be exempt from complying with the notice provisions of this Section when the subpoena clearly states that no notice or affidavit is required. Notwithstanding any privilege of confidentiality recognized by law, no health care provider or health care institution with which such health care provider is affiliated shall, acting under any such privilege, fail or refuse to respond to a lawfully issued subpoena of such board for any medical information, testimony, records, data, reports or other documents, tangible items, or information relative to any patient treated by such individual under investigation; however, the identity of any patient identified in or by such records or information shall be maintained in confidence by such board and shall be deemed a privilege of confidentiality existing in favor of any such patient. For the purpose of maintaining such confidentiality of patient identity, such board shall cause any such medical records or the transcript of any such testimony to be altered so as to prevent the disclosure of the identity of the patient to whom such records or testimony relates.

            K. Any attorney who causes the issuance of a subpoena or court order for medical, hospital, or other records relating to a person's medical treatment, history, or condition and who intentionally fails to provide notice to the patient or to the patient's counsel of record in accordance with the requirements of this Section shall be subject to sanction by the court.

            L. No provision of this Section shall preclude a patient from personally receiving a copy or synopsis of his medical records as provided by law.

            Added by Acts 1979, No. 75, §1; Acts 1987, No. 802, §1; Acts 1992, No. 660, §1; Acts 1993, No. 988, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1250, §2; Acts 1999, No. 793, §1; Acts 2001, No. 375, §1; Acts 2001, No. 396, §1; Acts 2004, No. 252, §1; Acts 2006, No. 370, §1; Acts 2008, No. 743, §7, eff. July 1, 2008.

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