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Confidentiality of patient health care records – Wis. Stat. Ann. § 146.82

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All identifiable health information is confidential and the release of such information requires consent of the patient, except under very limited circumstances. Patient health care records may be released only to persons designated in the statute or to other persons with the patient’s informed consent.

Patient’s health care records may be released without informed consent in the following situations:

(a)    Performance of Duties: to the extent that performance of their duties requires access to the records, to a provider or agent if person is rendering assistance to the patient, being consulted the health of patient, patient’s life in danger or person prepares records.   

(b)   Audits: health care facility staff committees, accreditation or review organizations for management and financial audits.

(c)    Payment: includes billing of claims as well.

(d)   Court Order

(e)    Federal or State Government Agency Request: to perform licensure or certification or any other legally authorized function. Private pay patient, however, may deny access to agency.

(f)     Research: if the researcher is affiliated with the health care provider and provides written assurances to the custodian of records that the info will be used only for purposes for which it is provided to research, information will not be released to a person not connected with study, and final product of research will not reveal information that may serve to identify the patient. Without the informed consent of patient. Private pay patient may deny access.

(g)    Elder-at-Risk Agency: reporting requirements.

(h)    Cancer Reporting: limited to information prescribed by the State Health Department. 

(i)      Unidentifiable Information: patient health care records that do not contain information and the circumstances of the release do not provide information that would permit the identification of the patient.

(j)     Release Portion of Record: provider may release a portion, but not a copy, of a patient’s healthcare record when (1) patient agrees to release of info; (2) patient incapacitated and in provider’s professional judgment release is in the “best interest” of the patient.

(k)   Redisclosure:  is allowed for treatment purposes and other limited circumstances prescribed under current law. Requirements parallel HIPPA with one important exception – non-covered entities may only re-disclose a patient’s health records under one of the following circumstances:

  •         Patient or person authorized by the patient provides informed consent for the re-disclosure.
  •         Court order
  •         Limited to the purpose for which the patient health care record was initially received.

Current as of June 2015