2017 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 13 - Courts and Judicial Procedure
RS 13:3734 - Privileged communication between health care provider and patient

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 13:3734 (2017)

§3734. Privileged communication between health care provider and patient

A. As used in this Part:

(1) "Health care provider" means a hospital, as defined in Paragraph (3) hereof, and means a person, corporation, facility, or institution licensed by the state to provide health care or professional services as a physician, hospital, dentist, registered or licensed practical nurse, pharmacist, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, psychologist, social worker, or licensed professional counselor and an officer, employee, or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his employment.

(2) "Patient" means a natural person who receives health care from a licensed health care provider.

(3) "Hospital" means any hospital as defined in R.S. 40:2102; any "Nursing home" or "home" as defined in R.S. 40:2009.2; or any health care provider's offices or clinics containing facilities for the examination, diagnosis, treatment or care of human illness.

(4) "Representative" means the spouse, parent, tutor, curator, trustee, attorney or other legal agent of the patient.

(5) "Communication" means the acquiring, recording or transmittal, of any information, in any manner whatsoever, concerning any facts, opinions or statements necessary to enable the health care provider to diagnose, treat, prescribe or to act for the patients; said communications may include, but are not limited to any and all medical records, office records, hospital records, charts, correspondence, memoranda, laboratory tests and results, x-rays, photographs, financial statements, diagnoses and prognoses.

(6) REPEALED BY ACTS 1986, NO. 496, §2, EFF. JULY 2, 1986.

(7) REPEALED BY ACTS 1986, NO. 496, §2, EFF. JULY 2, 1986.

B. In noncriminal proceedings, testimonial privileges, exceptions, and waiver with respect to communications between a health care provider and his patient are governed by the Louisiana Code of Evidence.

C. An action or proceeding described in Louisiana Evidence Code Article 510(B)(2) which constitutes an exception for a health care provider to testify at a trial on the merits also shall be an exception for purposes of any discovery method authorized by Article 1421 et seq. of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure.

D. Nothing in this Section shall preclude the health care provider from disclosing privileged information by medical report either before or after any legal proceedings are instituted, provided that he is in receipt of a written authorization executed by the patient. If the health care provider knows or reasonably believes that the patient is physically or mentally incapable of authorizing release, the health care provider may disclose privileged information provided he is in receipt of a written authorization executed by a person authorized under R.S. 40:1299.40 to consent to medical treatment for the patient. Furthermore, when a patient is represented by an attorney and that attorney provides the health care provider with written authorization executed by the patient, the health care provider may disclose to the attorney any communication which was necessary to enable him to diagnose, treat, prescribe, or act for the patient and may provide to the attorney, as agent for the patient, any medical reports, X-rays, or any other written information the health care provider has regarding the patient, all without the necessity of complying with formal discovery.

E.(1) In addition to any other provision of law permitting the subpoena of health care provider records, a party may obtain the health care provider records and communications defined by Paragraph (5) of Subsection A of a patient to the extent permitted by Louisiana Code of Evidence Article 510(B)(2)(i) pursuant to a lawful subpoena, summons, or court order served upon the custodian of records of the health care provider, in accordance with the requirements of R.S. 13:3715.1.

(2) No health care provider, custodian of records, officer, employee, or agent thereof shall be held civilly or criminally liable for the disclosure of a patient's records including any communication defined by Paragraph (5) of Subsection A to the extent permitted by Louisiana Code of Evidence Article 510(B)(2)(i) when that disclosure is made in accordance with R.S. 13:3715.1.

F. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, when conducting any investigation, the coroner or his authorized agents or employees may review any medical or dental records which he deems relevant to the investigation. Such records may be made available to him by the custodian thereof without the necessity of authorization, subpoena, or court order. No health care provider, custodian of records, or officer, employee, or agent thereof shall be held civilly or criminally liable for the disclosure of a patient's records, including any communication defined herein, when that disclosure is made pursuant to a request by the coroner or his authorized agents or employees.

G. Notwithstanding any provision of this Section or any other law to the contrary, an official of another state, whose functions are comparable to those of a coroner in this state and who is conducting an investigation in which Louisiana medical or dental records are material evidence, may request authorization for the release of those records from the coroner of the parish in which the custodian of the records is located. If the coroner determines that the requested records are relevant to the out-of-state investigation and the release of those records is appropriate, then the coroner shall authorize the custodian of those records to release those records to the requesting official. No health care provider, custodian of records, or officer, employee, or agent thereof shall be held civilly or criminally liable for the disclosure of a patient's records, including any communication defined herein, pursuant to a release authorized by the coroner.

Acts 1968, No. 499, §1; Amended by Acts 1977, No. 670, §1; Acts 1978, No. 430, §1; Acts 1985, No. 477, §1; Acts 1986, No. 496, §§1, 2, eff. July 2, 1986; Acts 1987, No. 892, §3, eff. July 20, 1987; Acts 1990, No. 46, §1, eff. June 26, 1990; Acts 1991, No. 473, §1, eff. July 15, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 376, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 1993; Acts 1992, No. 395, §1; Acts 1993, No. 988, §§1 and 3; Acts 1999, No. 520, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1309, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

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