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Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.20191 - Emergency patient; test for presence of infectious agent; positive test results; duties of health facility; notice; request for testing; confidentiality; rules; disclosure as misdemeanor; liability; definitions

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Police officers, fire fighters, or other emergency personnel (“emergency responders”) may come into contact with a person’s blood or bodily fluids while transporting the person to a hospital. Because such contact may result in the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis B (“HBV”), or another infectious agent, Michigan permits hospitals to share the results of the escorted patient’s HIV, HBV, or infectious agent tests with emergency responders and permits emergency responders to request HIV and HBV testing pursuant to the following procedures.

If a hospital conducts a test for an infectious agent on a patient brought to the hospital by an emergency responder and the test is positive, then the hospital must notify the emergency responder of their potential exposure to the infectious agent. Such notification is automatic if the emergency responder is a police officer, firefighter, or licensed EMT. If the emergency responder does not fall into one of these categories, then the hospital may only notify them if they submit a writing to the hospital that demonstrates their exposure to the bodily fluids of the patient while transporting them to the hospital. The notification of exposure may only state that the individual is positive for HIV if the emergency responder requested the testing; otherwise the hospital may only provide notice that the emergency responder may have been exposed to an infectious agent. The notice may not identify the patient.

An emergency responder may submit a form to a health facility requesting that the facility test a patient they brought to the facility for HIV and/or HBV. The form must describe the emergency responder’s exposure to the patient’s blood or bodily fluids and state that responder agrees to comply with confidentially requirements. The form cannot contain the patient’s name. A health facility must accept the emergency responder’s description of the exposure unless they have reason to believe the events occurred differently. If the emergency responder’s description of the exposure constitutes a “percutaneous, mucous membrane, or open wound exposure,” then the health facility must test the patient. The health facility may charge the emergency responder for the test.

If the health facility rejects a request because the facility does not believe the emergency responder’s description of events, the exposure did not constitute a “percutaneous, mucous membrane, or open wound exposure,” or testing the patient is not feasible, then the health facility must, within 2 days of the rejection, explain the reason for the rejection on the request form and send the emergency responder a copy.

A health facility must comply with the above notification requirements within 2 days of administering an HIV and/or HBV test. A facility must send the notice to the emergency responder or their designated health professional. If the health facility does not know the identity of the emergency responder, then the facility must attempt to notify the emergency responder’s employer, the medical control authority or the government official with control of the vehicle used to transport the patient to the hospital.

Individuals that obtain information in accordance with this section must keep the information confidential; failure to do so constitutes a misdemeanor. Individuals are immune from liability if they make a good faith effort to comply with this section.

Current as of June 2015