Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 5019Primary Sponsor: WitherspoonCommittee Number: 27Type of Legislation: GBSubject: Patient Medical Records ActResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Medical, Military, Public and Municipal AffairsDate Tabled: 19940426Computer Document Number: CYY/15969AC.94Introduced Date: 19940405Last History Body: HouseLast History Date: 19940426Last History Type: Tabled in CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: WitherspoonType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ____ ______ ____________ ______________________________ ___ ____________ 5019 House 19940426 Tabled in Committee 27 5019 House 19940405 Introduced, read first time, 27 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 44-115-15 SO AS TO ADD THE DEFINITION OF "HEALTH CARE PROVIDER"; AND TO AMEND TITLE 44, CHAPTER 115, RELATING TO THE PHYSICIANS' PATIENT RECORDS ACT, SO AS TO CHANGE THIS CHAPTER TO THE "PATIENT MEDICAL RECORDS ACT" AND TO CHANGE REFERENCES FROM "PHYSICIAN" TO "HEALTH CARE PROVIDER" THROUGHOUT THE CHAPTER.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-115-15. For purposes of this chapter `health care provider' or `provider' means a person, health care facility, organization, or corporation licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by the laws of this State to administer health care."
SECTION 2. Title 44, Chapter 115 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 480 of 1992, is amended to read:
Section 44-115-10. This chapter may be cited as the `Physicians' Patient Medical Records Act'.
Section 44-115-20. The physician A health care provider is the owner of medical records in his the provider's possession that were made in treating a patient and of records transferred to him the provider concerning prior treatment of the patient.
Section 44-115-30. A patient or his the patient's legal representative has a right to receive a copy of his the patient's medical record, or have the record transferred to another physician health care provider, upon request, when accompanied by a written authorization from the patient or his the patient's representative to release the record.
Section 44-115-40. Except as otherwise provided by law, a physician health care provider shall may not honor a request for the release of copies of medical records without the receipt of express written consent of the patient or person authorized by law to act on behalf of the patient.
Section 44-115-50. A physician health care provider may rely on the representations of a health and life insurance carrier or administrator of health and life insurance claims that the authorization of the patient or of a person upon whose status the patient's claim depends for release of the medical record is on file with the carrier as an authorization to release medical information under this chapter. A physician provider who in good faith releases medical information for claims processing relying on the representations of the claims administrator that an authorization for release of the information is on file is immune from any civil or criminal liability alleged to be caused by the physician's provider's compliance with the request to release the information. The physician provider is not subject to disciplinary action for an alleged violation of law or regulation due to the compliance with the request to release information.
Section 44-115-60. (A) Except as otherwise provided by law, a physician health care provider may refuse to release a copy of the entire medical record and may furnish instead a summary or portion of the record when he the provider has a reasonable belief that release of the information contained in the entire record would cause harm to the patient's emotional or physical well-being, the emotional or physical well-being of another person who has given information about the patient to the physician provider, or where release of the information is otherwise prohibited by law. An unreasonable refusal to release the entire medical record constitutes unprofessional conduct and subjects the physician provider to disciplinary action of the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners by the board or agency by whom the health care provider is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by the laws of this State to administer health care.
(B) However, notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a physician provider may not refuse to release the entire record or a portion of the record if the information is requested for any reason by a licensed attorney representing the patient, when the request is accompanied by a written authorization signed by the patient, the patient's legal guardian, or the patient's personal representative, for any reason, or a licensed attorney representing the patient, or by an insurance company with reference to an application for life or health insurance or the payment and adjudication of claims relating to life and health insurance or if the information is requested with reference to the payment or adjudication of a personal injury claims claim.
Section 44-115-70. Medical records may not be withheld because of an unpaid bill for medical services.
Section 44-115-80. A physician health care provider may charge a fee of fifty cents a page or a minimum fee of ten dollars, plus actual postage costs, for making copies of existing medical records.
Section 44-115-90. When a request for medical information involves more than making copies of existing documents, a physician health care provider may charge reasonable fees, exclusive of those excluding fees charged for copying the medical record, for providing this service.
Section 44-115-100. The provisions of Sections 44-115-80 and 44-115-90 do not apply to requests for medical information necessary to process a health insurance claim made by a patient or on behalf of the patient by a health insurance carrier or health insurance administrator for services rendered by the physician health care provider from whom the information is requested.
Section 44-115-110. Payment for all services related to medical record requests is a just debt, due and payable at the time service is rendered. A physician health care provider may require payment in advance for a copy of the record.
Section 44-115-120. Physicians A health care provider shall retain their records for at least ten years for adult patients and at least thirteen years for minors. These minimum recordkeeping periods begin to run from the last date of treatment. After these minimum recordkeeping periods, the records may be destroyed.
Section 44-115-130. (A) A physician health care provider may not sell medical records to someone other than a physician or osteopath licensed by the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners health care provider in a like or related field to the provider selling the records or a hospital licensed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Exceptions to this prohibition may be granted and approved by the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners board or agency by whom the health care provider is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by the laws of this State to administer health care.
(B) Before a physician health care provider may sell medical records, he the provider must cause to be published a public notice of his the intention to sell the records in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of his the provider's practice at least three times in the ninety days preceding the sale. The notice shall advise patients that they may retrieve their records if they prefer that their records not be included in the sale.
Section 44-115-140. A physician health care provider who in good faith releases medical records to a party pursuant to a written authorization from the patient or the patient's representative is immune from civil or criminal liability alleged to be caused by the physician's provider's compliance with the request to release the information. The physician provider is not subject to disciplinary action for an alleged violation of law due to compliance with the request to release information.
Section 44-115-150. This chapter does not invalidate any other provision of law concerning medical records, the alteration of medical records, any an interest a patient has in the information contained within the medical record, or any a civil action brought in the state or federal courts alleging medical negligence; further, this chapter does not invalidate the authority of a court to issue a subpoena or of a licensing or disciplinary board of this State to obtain these records as provided by law."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.