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Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-101 - Requirements for the Release of Medical Records by Health Care Providers

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Health care providers must provide a patient or his or her representative a copy of the patient’s medical record within ten working days of receiving a request for access from the patient or representative. A provider may choose to provide a summary of the patient's medical record in lieu of the actual record. Medical records may not constitute public record, and their confidentiality must be maintained.

A patient’s name and address may not be sold for any purpose, and may only be disclosed to a government agency for required reporting or to a third party payer for utilization review, case management, peer review, or other administrative functions. Medical information may be disclosed in response to a subpoena, court order or request authorized by state or federal law.  Providers are obligated to provide medical records for inspection and copying if requested by the Office of Inspector General or the Medicaid Fraud Unit. 

Health care providers must have a policy in place to limit the use and disclosure of medical records, video, images, or pictures for educational purposes, even if the patient’s information contained therein is de-identified.  The policy must include when and to whom it is appropriate to use and disclose patient information and when prior patient authorization is required. 

Except as otherwise permitted or required by law, disclosure or sale of a patient's name, address, or other identifying information will be considered an invasion of the patient's right to privacy by a health care provider. 

The law carves out an exemption from liability for disclosure of a child’s immunization information by physicians or insurers for authorized purposes to the Department of Health.  All information received by the Department regarding immunization data is confidential and not publicly available.  The names of all children will be included in the immunization registry unless the child’s parent or guardian specifically objects to such inclusion.

Current as of June 2015