Skip to Content

Confidential information and records; disclosure; consent - Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 5328

Link to the law
This will open in a new window

Records and information relating to the mental health of an individual are confidential and privileged to the patient, and may only be disclosed in accordance with the statute.
Disclosure With Consent:
A patient, or a patient’s guardian or conservator, may consent to the disclosure of information relating to their mental health in writing. If a patient is a minor, the patient’s parent may consent in writing to disclosure, except that the provision is not meant to be construed to compel providers to disclose information revealed in confidence by members of the patient’s family.
Disclosure Without Consent:
Mental health information may be disclosed without a patient’s consent under the following circumstances:
·      As necessary to submit a claim for aid, insurance, or medical assistance
·      For research purposes, provided that an attempt is made at obtaining informed consent and patient-identifying information is not redisclosed
·      To law enforcement to protect elected officials and their families
·      In connection with a legislative investigation
·      To an insurer when a patient is applying for life or disability insurance
·      To the patient’s attorney, except this provision is not meant to be construed to compel providers to disclose information to the attorney that was revealed in confidence by members of the patients family
·      To a “multidisciplinary team” in connection with an abuse child, an abused elder, or an abused dependent adult
·      To a quality assurance committee established according to § 4070 and § 5624
·      To a licensing board, when the department is investigating a potential licensing violation; patient-identifying information must not be redisclosed in reaching a decision
·      Under limited circumstances, when law enforcement has requested to be notified when a patient has been released after law enforcement placed the individual on a 72 hour or 14 day treatment hold
·      To a qualified professional in connection with genetic counseling
·      If a provider believes an individual “presents a serious danger of violence to a reasonably foreseeable victim or victims,” information may be disclosed to the potential victim, to law enforcement, or to child welfare agencies.
·      To law enforcement, when an officer presents an arrest warrant for a serious felony, the facility is obligated to disclose whether the patient is in the facility
Disclosure Pursuant to Court Order:
Confidential information may be disclosed “[t]o the courts, as necessary to the administration of justice.”

Current as of June 2015