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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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§27-3-1. Definition of confidential information; disclosure.

NOTE: During the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature, this section was amended by both Senate Bill 187 and House Bill 2674 and there has been no judicial ruling to determine which, if either, amendments prevail. Both versions are provided here.

As amended by Senate Bill 187:

(a) Communications and information obtained in the course of treatment or evaluation of any client or patient are confidential information. Such confidential information includes the fact that a person is or has been a client or patient, information transmitted by a patient or client or family thereof for purposes relating to diagnosis or treatment, information transmitted by persons participating in the accomplishment of the objectives of diagnosis or treatment, all diagnoses or opinions formed regarding a client’s or patient’s physical, mental or emotional condition, any advice, instructions or prescriptions issued in the course of diagnosis or treatment, and any record or characterization of the matters hereinbefore described. It does not include information which does not identify a client or patient, information from which a person acquainted with a client or patient would not recognize such client or patient and uncoded information from which there is no possible means to identify a client or patient.

(b) Confidential information shall not be disclosed, except:

(1) In a proceeding under section four, article five of this chapter to disclose the results of an involuntary examination made pursuant to section two, three or four of said article;

(2) In a proceeding under article six-a of this chapter to disclose the results of an involuntary examination made pursuant thereto;

(3) Pursuant to an order of any court based upon a finding that the information is sufficiently relevant to a proceeding before the court to outweigh the importance of maintaining the confidentiality established by this section;

(4) To provide notice to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, established pursuant to section 103(d) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, 18 U. S. C. §922, in accordance with article seven-a, chapter sixty-one of this code;

(5) To protect against a clear and substantial danger of imminent injury by a patient or client to himself, herself or another;

 (6) Pursuant to and as provided for under the federal privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 in 45 CFR §164.506; and

(7) Pursuant to and as provided for under the federal privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 in 45 CFR §164.512:  Provided, That disclosures made pursuant to 45 CFR §164.512(e) comply with subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(8) Upon execution of a duly executed release in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.  

As amended by House Bill 2674:

(a) Communications and information obtained in the course of treatment or evaluation of any client or patient are confidential information. Such confidential information includes the fact that a person is or has been a client or patient, information transmitted by a patient or client or family thereof for purposes relating to diagnosis or treatment, information transmitted by persons participating in the accomplishment of the objectives of diagnosis or treatment, all diagnoses or opinions formed regarding a client's or patient's physical, mental or emotional condition, any advice, instructions or prescriptions issued in the course of diagnosis or treatment, and any record or characterization of the matters hereinbefore described. It does not include information which does not identify a client or patient, information from which a person acquainted with a client or patient would not recognize such client or patient and uncoded information from which there is no possible means to identify a client or patient.

(b) Confidential information shall not be disclosed, except:

(1) In a proceeding under section four, article five of this chapter to disclose the results of an involuntary examination made pursuant to section two, three or four of said article;

(2) In a proceeding under article six-a of this chapter to disclose the results of an involuntary examination made pursuant thereto;

(3) Pursuant to an order of any court based upon a finding that the information is sufficiently relevant to a proceeding before the court to outweigh the importance of maintaining the confidentiality established by this section;

(4) To provide notice to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, established pursuant to section 103(d) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. §922, in accordance with article seven-a, chapter sixty-one of this code;

(5) To protect against a clear and substantial danger of imminent injury by a patient or client to himself, herself or another;

(6) For treatment or internal review purposes, to staff of the mental health facility where the patient is being cared for or to other health professionals involved in treatment of the patient; (7) Without the patient's consent as provided for under the Privacy Rule of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 45 C.F.R. §164.506, for thirty days from the date of admission to a mental health facility if: (i) The provider makes a good faith effort to obtain consent from the patient or legal representative prior to disclosure; (ii) the minimum information necessary is released for a specifically stated purpose; and (iii) prompt notice of the disclosure, the recipient of the information and the purpose of the disclosure is given to the patient or legal representative; and

(8) In a proceeding held under section seventeen, or as required by section eighteen, of article three of chapter forty-four-A of this code.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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