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Fla. Stat. Ann. § 397.501

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Rights of individuals

All substance abuse treatment records are confidential and may only be disclosed according to the statute, which is a part of a larger patient’s bill of rights, and/or Part 2. Any answer to a request for disclosure not permitted by the statute or Part 2 must not contain information confirming or denying whether the patient has been diagnosed with or received treatment for substance abuse. This provision does not apply to the reporting of suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect as required by law.

Disclosure With Consent

Substance abuse treatment information may be disclosed with the written consent of the client. A minor may consent to treatment on their own behalf. Information may not be disclosed to the minor’s parents or guardians without the minor’s written consent.

Disclosure Without Consent

Substance abuse treatment information may be disclosed without consent to medical personnel in an emergency, and to provider personnel for treatment purposes. Information may also be disclosed to the secretary for research purposes in accordance with Part 2, provided that a written agreement is entered into stating that patient-identifying information will not be disclosed. Information may be disclosed for audit or evaluation purposes, provided that any reports do not contain patient-identifying information, and are produced in accordance with Part 2. Disclosure may also be made to law enforcement if the disclosure relates to the commission of or threatened commission of a crime on the premises of the treatment facility or against a provider.

Disclosure Pursuant to Court Order

Allows for disclosure without consent pursuant to a court order based on application showing good cause; the court balances the public interest and need for disclosure against the potential injury to the patient, and to the service provider when determining whether to order disclosure. These orders can be applied for by any person with a legally recognized interest, and the application must use a fictitious name so as to protect the identity of the patient. The statute provides that a court may authorize disclosure of records for purposes of conducting a criminal investigation or prosecution only when the conditions set forth in 42 C.F.R. Part 2 are met.

Current as of June 2015