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Privacy and Confidentiality in Tennessee

        In Tennessee, health care providers must keep all patient records strictly confidential and must have written policies in place to limit the use and disclosure of medical records, even if patient information is de-identified.1  In general, a provider may not sell or disclose a patient’s name or address, unless the disclosure is made to a government agency or a third party board for utilization, case management or peer review purposes.2  Additionally, patient information can be disclosed in response to a court ordered subpoena, or if requested by the Office of Inspector General.3  These requirements apply not simply to practitioners, but to hospitals4, nursing homes5, ambulatory surgical centers6, dentistry practices7, health maintenance organizations8, and laboratories as well9.

        Besides traditional patient medical records, the Tennessee requires that additional patient information that is disclosed to the state or third-parties be kept confidential as well.  This includes reporting of cancer cases to the state cancer registry10, information reported to the state stroke database11, vital records12, records of reported abortions13, reporting of birth defects14, reporting of sexually transmitted diseases15, reporting of incidents of abuse in health care facilities16, required reports to the state trauma registry17, traumatic brain injury reports18, information in the controlled substances database19, and data collected through communicable disease reports20.

        Finally, Tennessee also provides for the confidentiality of information submitted to peer review groups organized by health care facilities for patient safety and utilization study.21

 

Footnotes

  • 1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-101 (2012)
  • 2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-101 (2012)
  • 3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-101 (2012)
  • 4. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-304 (2012)
  • 5. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-901 (2012)
  • 6. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-10-.11 (2010)
  • 7. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 0460-01-.16
  • 8. Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-32-125 (2012)
  • 9. Tenn. Code Ann. §68-5-604 (2012)
  • 10. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-1006 (2012)
  • 11. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-1903 (2012)
  • 12. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-205 (2012)
  • 13. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-505 (2012)
  • 14. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-5-506 (2012)
  • 15. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-10-113 (2012)
  • 16. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-211 (2012)
  • 17. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-259 (2012)
  • 18. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-55-204 (2012)
  • 19. Tenn. Comp. Rules & Regs. 1140-11-.02
  • 20. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-14-01-.17 (2011)
  • 21. Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-272 (2012)

 

Privacy and Confidentiality in Tennessee

Subtopic Statute/Regulation Description
Privacy and Confidentiality General Rights of All Service Recipients - Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-103 et seq. Records and information relating to the mental health of an individual are confidential and privileged to the patient, and may only be disclosed in...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-10-408 - Requirments for Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Treatment Records Requirements for Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Treatment Records Records from treatment facilities shall remain confidential. The director may...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-103 - Confidentiality of mental health records All records, reports and documents made and all information provided or received in connection with services provided to patients with mental health...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-105 - Disclosure of Confidential Information Without Consent for Recipients of Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services Confidential information about recipients of mental health and intellectual and developmental disability services may be disclosed without consent of...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-106 - Requirements and Limitations for Disclosure of Protected Information for Recipients of Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services Protected information about recipients of mental health and intellectual and developmental disability services may be disclosed without the consent...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-306 - Authorization of patient to market or sell medical information No employer or his agent, contractor or employee may market or sell medical information that directly identifies an employee, unless the employee has...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-2-125 - Establishment and Maintenance of an All-Payer Claims Database and Establishment of a Tennessee Health Information Committee The commissioner of commerce and insurance must establish and maintain an all-payer claims database (comprised of insurer data) to enable the...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-32-125 - Confidentiality of Information for HMO Enrollees or Applicants Any information regarding treatment, diagnosis or health of an HMO enrollee or applicant must remain confidential and may not be disclosed by the HMO...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-124 - Release of Information Relating to Physical or Mental Health of the Patient The sale or marketing of information relating to the physical or mental health of an individual by any network providing health benefits is...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-2704 - Requirements for Disclosure and Privacy of Genetic Information An insurance provider may not request or require an individual who maintains or is seeking health insurance with the provider to disclose genetic...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-10-212 Confidentiality of information entrusted to the pharmacist A pharmacist may disclose patient information to a person authorized to prescribe drugs or...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-10-405 - Requirements for Disclosure of Privileged Information Provided to the Quality Improvement Committee All information about pharmacists or pharmacy auxiliary personnel furnished to a peer review committee or medical board and any findings resulting...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-101 - Requirements for the Release of Medical Records by Health Care Providers 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...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-6-214 - Grounds for License Denial, Suspension, or Revocation and Reporting Misconduct A physician may transfer a patient’s x-rays and medical imaging to a person out of state who is not licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-1003 - Requirements for Reports to the Department of Health, Access to Patient Medical Records, Reimbursement, and Failure to Report or Give access to Records All hospitals, laboratories, facilities, and health care practitioners must report to the department of health information contained in a diagnosed...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-1006 - Confidentiality of Data for Cancer Cases All data obtained from the required reporting of cancer cases must remain confidential and is for the use of the department and persons the...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-1010 - Interstate Sharing of Information and Confidentiality Requirements The commissioner of health may enter into a written agreement with other states that maintain cancer registries to exchange information on cancer...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-1903 - Statewide Stroke Database and Report Requirements The East Tennessee State University College of Public Health and the Tennessee stroke systems task force maintain a statewide stroke database that...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-10-113 - Confidentiality of records and information fo sexually transmitted diseases All records of known or suspected cases of sexually transmitted disease that are held by the Department of Health or local health office must remain...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-1503 - Confidentiality of Patient Information The name, address and other identifying information of a patient may be released in the following circumstances: Required reporting to health or...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-211 - Reporting Requirements for Incidents of Abuse, Neglect and Misappropriation All licensed health care facilities and any physician’s office performing Level III surgery must report incidents of abuse, neglect, or...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-259 - Establishment and Maintenance of a Trauma Registry; Compliance; Confidentiality Establishment and Maintenance of a Trauma Registry; Compliance; Confidentiality The board for licensing health care facilities shall establish and...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-263 - National nosocomial infection surveillance/national healthcare safety network (NNIS/NHSN) Utilization Requirements Each health facility with an annual average daily census of at least 25 inpatients, or an outpatient facility that performs an annual average of 25...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-265 - Requirements for the Use of Information Obtained by the Department of Health Information that the department of health obtains from hospitals and other healthcare providers from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) or...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-304 - Requirements for Hospitals Regarding Furnishing Medical Records Hospital records are and shall remain the property of the hospitals, subject to a court order to produce the records. Unless prohibited by law, a...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-901 - Enumeration of Minimum Rights for Patients or Residents of a Nursing Home Every patient or resident of a nursing home has the following minimum rights: To choose a personal physician; To be informed of the resident...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-29-107 - Reporting Requirements for Infectious Diseases by Laboratories Establishment of the Brain Trauma Registry Directors of laboratories shall report cases of infectious diseases; however reports shall not be...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-205 - Regulations for Disclosure of Vital Records Regulations for Disclosure of Vital Records In order to protect the integrity of vital records and to ensure that they are used properly, no one may...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-208 - Purpose and Access to Medical Records Purpose and Access to Medical Records For the purpose of gathering information about birth certificates and death certificates and for reporting...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-505 - Abortion reporting requirements Each induced termination of pregnancy must be reported to the Office of Vital Records within 10 days after the procedure by the person in charge of...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-5-506 - Creation of Birth Defects Registry Creation of Birth Defects Registry In the interest of learning about and preventing the occurrence of birth defects, the general assembly enacted...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-5-605 - Requirements for Utilization of Pregnancy Serological tests Requirements for Utilization of Pregnancy Serological Tests The Department may use information from pregnancy serological tests for follow-up...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-5-905 - Reports and referrals for screenings performed on infants born in Tennessee facilities The results of all hearing screenings performed on infants born in Tennessee facilities shall be reported to the department of health.  ...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-55-204 - Requirements for Reports to the Department of Health on Traumatic Brain Injuries The Commissioner of Health has established a system for hospitals to report a patient with a traumatic brain injury to the Department of Health....
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-9-201 - Requirements for Reporting of Diseased Persons (Persons with Tuberculosis) Requirements for Reporting of Diseased Persons (Persons with Tuberculosis) If a person reasonably suspects that someone has tuberculosis and is...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-5-142 - Requirements for Confidentiality and Disclosure of Proprietary Information Under the TennCare Program All proprietary information, including TennCare provider reimbursement information provided to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance or...
Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-5-2516 - Requirements for records obtained related to fraud and abuse within the Medicare or the Medicaid programs Requirements for records obtained related to fraud and abuse within the Medicare or the Medicaid programs All records that are obtained in lieu of a...
Tenn. Code Ann. §63-1-117 - Conditions for Making Medical Records Available for Inspection and Copying Health care providers are required to make medical records available to the Department of Health for inspection and copying based on the following...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-1-108 - Requirements for Reports of Claims Data by Licensed Hospitals Each licensed hospital must report all claims data for each inpatient and outpatient discharge to the Commissioner of Health.  Such reports must...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-1-119 - Requirements for Claims Data Discharge Reports by Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Centers Each licensed ambulatory surgical center and licensed outpatient diagnostic center must report all claims data for each discharge to the Commissioner...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-11-272 - Establishment of Quality Improvement Committees and Requirements for Quality Improvement Records and Information Provided to the Quality Improvement Committee Quality Improvement Committees are committees formed by a health care organization to evaluate the safety, quality, costs, and processes of health...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-11-311 - Violations of the Medical Records Act of 1974 Violations of the Medical Records Act of 1974 If a hospital or its personnel willfully, recklessly, or wantonly violate any of the provisions of the...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-5-102 - Physicians' Notification Requirements for Recipients of Dead Bodies of Communicable Diseases or AIDS Required Reporting of Communicable Diseases If a physician, surgeon, or practitioner knows or suspects that a person is infected or even suspected of...
Tenn. Code Ann. §68-5-604 - Laboratory Reports of Blood Samples and Confidentiality of Information Laboratory reports of the blood samples required to be taken from pregnant women must be transmitted to the health care provider.  A copy of the...
Tenn. Code Ann.§ 68-11-265 - Requirements for Use of Information Obtained by the Department of Health Information obtained from the department of health and other healthcare providers pertaining to patient safety data and hospital acquired infection...
Tenn. Code. Ann. §68-11-312 - Requirements for Communications Between Health Care Providers and Their Patients Tennessee law encourages communication between a patient’s health care providers.  The law does not impose confidentiality requirements on...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0460-01-.16 - Patient Rights for Dental Patients Each patient of a licensed dentist will be afforded the following rights:         To have their records kept...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0880-02-.15 - Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Medical Records for Physicians All physicians must create and maintain a medical record for each patient that is separate and distinct from those records generated for the patient...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1140-11-.02 - Patient Access to the Controlled Substance Database The following persons may access patient information maintained in the controlled substance database:        ...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-06-03-.08 - Standards and Requirements for Patient Test Management Systems Standards and Requirements for Patient Test Management Systems Each laboratory must maintain a system that sets a standard for properly preparing...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-01-.11 - Requirements for Disclosure of Vital Records Vital records are public information and can be requested and verified upon request.  Tennessee regulations have created exceptions for the...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-02-.06 - Confidentiality of Information in the Cancer Registry The commissioner of the department of health must ensure that all patient identifying information reported to the cancer registry is treated as...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-02-.07 - Requirements for the Release of Non-identifying information contained in the Tennessee Cancer Registry Non-identifying information contained in the Tennessee Cancer Registry may be released for the following purposes:     ...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-03-.07 - Requirements for Confidentiality of Discharge Data All discharge data required to be reported by hospitals must remain confidential until it is processed and verified by the Commissioner of Health....
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-01-.11 - Hospital Records and Reporting Requirements All hospitals must report the following:         All births, deaths, and reportable fetal deaths occurring...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-01-.12 - Patient Rights for Patients in Hospitals All patients in hospitals have the following minimum rights: To refuse treatment and be informed of the consequences of that decision; To...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-01-.13 - Policies and Procedures for Health Care Decision-Making in Hospitals All hospitals must establish policies and procedures for the designation of a decision maker for health care decisions of a patient who is...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-06-.11 - Nursing Home Records and Reporting Requirements All nursing homes must report the following:         Joint annual statistical report to the department of...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-06-.13 - Policies and Procedures for Health Care Decision-Making in Nursing Homes All nursing homes must establish policies and procedures for the designation of a decision maker for health care decisions of a resident who is...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-10-.11 - Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center (ASTC) Records and Reporting Requirements Each ambulatory surgical treatment center (ASTC) must report the following:         Joint annual report of...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-10-.12 - Rights of patients in ambulatory surgical centers All patients in ambulatory surgical centers have the following minimum rights: To refuse treatment and be informed of the consequences of that...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-10-.13 - Policies and Procedures for Health Care Decision-Making in Ambulatory Surgical Centers All ambulatory surgical centers must establish policies and procedures for the designation of a decision maker for health care decisions of a patient...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-14-01-.17 - Requirements for the confidentiality of identifiable health information regarding communicable and environmental diseases All individually identifiable health information regarding communicable and environmental diseases that is collected, created and/or prepared by the...
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-7-3-.06 - Data Availability Via the Tennessee Hospital Association Thirty days after the department of health’s master database has received, processed and verified all hospitals’ claims data, the...