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Okla. Stat. Ann. 43, §1-109

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Confidential and privileged information—Disclosure

Substance abuse treatment records are confidential and privileged to the patient, and may only be disclosed according to the statute; all disclosures must be limited to the minimum amount necessary. Mental health and substance abuse treatment records are governed by the same statute, though the protections for the respective types of records do not mirror each other.

Disclosure With Consent

A patient may sign a release for disclosure of information relating to their substance abuse treatment. However, the patient is not entitled to the following information:

  • Information compiled in anticipation of a civil or criminal proceeding or administrative action
  • Information that is otherwise privileged
  • Information that the person charged with the patient’s treatment determines to be “reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the patient or another person”
  • Information obtained during research if the patient consented to temporary suspension of access while certain research is ongoing
  • Information requested by an inmate that a correctional institution perceives as a safety risk
  • Otherwise confidential information, the disclosure of which would result identify the source

A valid release for disclosure must have the following information, and is not valid if expired, revoked, or material information included within is known to be false:

  • The name of the program or person permitted to disclose the information
  • The name of the entity or person intended to receive the disclosed information
  • The name of the patient to whom the record pertains
  • The purpose of the disclosure
  • A description of the information to be disclosed
  • A dated signature of the patient, or the patient’s authorized representative; if signed by a representative, a description of the person’s authority to act must be included.
  • A statement regarding the patient’s right to revoke the release in writing
  • Expiration date

A patient may revoke a release in writing unless:

  • Information has already been disclosed pursuant to the release
  • An insurer is contesting a claim, and the authorization was obtained for purposes of insurance coverage
  • “the release was executed as part of a criminal justice referral”

An executor, administrator, or personal representative may sign a written release for disclosure of information pertaining to a deceased client.

Disclosure Without Consent

Confidential information may be disclosed to law enforcement in connection with a crime or threatened crime on the premises of the facility or against facility staff; however, under these circumstances, the disclosure must be limited. Confidential information may be disclosed for “[a] review preparatory to research, research on decedents information or research conducted when a waiver of authorization has been approved by either an institutional review board or privacy board.” Confidential information may be disclosed to pursuant to a “business associate agreement, qualified organization agreement, or a qualified service organization/business association agreement,” provided that the requirements of Part 2 are observed.

Confidential substance abuse treatment information may be disclosed to medical personnel in a situation requiring immediate medical intervention. Confidential information may also be disclosed for purposes of obtaining payment for services if a facility director determines that a patient cannot act effectively on his or her own behalf. 

Disclosure Pursuant to Court Order

Treatment information regarding a deceased patient may be disclosed pursuant to a court order. The statute further provides that treatment information may not be disclosed unless permitted by the statute or ordered by a court, though the statute does not elaborate on disclosure pursuant to court order.

Current as of June 2019