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Selected Virginia Laws Affecting Patient Confidentiality

SELECTED VIRGINIA LAWS AFFECTING PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY

I. Confidentiality Protections:
A. Prohibiting Disclosure of Information Without Patient’s Consent:
Statutory Law: Patient Health Records Privacy Statute . . § 32.1-127.1:03 [1]
Statutory Law: Unauthorized Computer Access is Illegal . . .§ 18.2-152.5 [2]
Regulatory Law: (See Licensing Board Standards [3]; State Agency Regs [4])
Case Law: Virginia Supreme Court in Fairfax Hospital v. Patricia Curtis [5]
B. Therapist-Patient Privilege (Protections in Civil Court Proceedings Only):
Board of Medicine Licensees and Clinical Psychologists.§ 8.01-399 [6]
Other Mental Health Professionals…§ 8.01-400.2 [7]
Judges Can Protect Health Records In Court Case.. § 32.1-127.1:03, [8] (H-6)
Confidentiality Protections in Court-Ordered Parent Education… § 20-103 [9]
C. Minors’ Access to Outpatient Tx Without Parental Consent … § 54.1-2969 [10]
II. Confidentiality Limitations (Potential Disclosure w/o Pt. Consent):
A. Laws Requiring Provider To Disclose Information Without Patient Consent:
Duty to Protect Third Parties…§ 54.1-2400.1 [11]
Reports Mandated by Statute or Regulation :
Abuse/Neglect of Aged or Incapacitated Adult…§ 63.2-1606 [12]
Abuse/Neglect of Child… § 63.2-1509 [13] (defined in .§ 63.2-100 [14])
Practitioners in Therapy, if Public at Risk. ..§ 54.1-2400.7 [15]
Practitioner Misconduct:
Board of Medicine Licensees...§ 54.1-2909 [16] ; § 54.1-2915 [17]
Other Licensed or Certified Practitioners (See Board Regulations)
State Colleges Notify Parents of Depndnt Students at Risk…§ 23-9.2:3 [18]
Records/Information Legally Available to Others Without Patient Consent:
CASA Lay Volunteers…§ 9.1-156 [19]
CSB Evaluators for Involuntary Commitment of Minor...§ 16.1-342 [20]
CSB or Indep. Evaluator for Involuntary Commitment ..§ 37.2-804.2 [21]
DSS Investigation Following Report of Abuse/Neglect . .§ 63.2-1509 [13]
Licensing Board Investigations; Subpoena ..54.1-2506
Parent Has Access to Treatment Records of Minor Child…§ 20-124.6 [22]
Magistrates, etc. for Commitment Hearing…§ 16.1-337 [23] ; § 37.2-804.2 [24]
B. Exceptions to Therapist-Patient Privilege (Potential Subpoenas)
Civil Proceedings: Exceptions to Privilege: § 8.01-399 [6], § 8.01-400.2 [25]
Child Abuse/Neglect Cases…§ 63.2.1519 [26]; § 8.01-400.2 [25]
Mental Condition at Issue in Court Case…§ 8.01-399 [6]; § 8.01-400.2 [25]
“Judicial Discretion” Exception to Privilege..8.01-399 [6]; § 8.01-400.2 [25]
Guardian Ad Litem Access to Info in Court Case.§16.1-266 (G) [27]
Subpoenaed Records Delivered to Clerk of Court…§ 32.1-127.1:03 [28]
Copies of Records Admissible as Evidence . . . § 8.01-413 [29]
Criminal Proceedings (No statutory therapist-patient privilege)
Licensing Board Subpoena of Records for Investigation.(e.g., § 54.1-2506 [30])
C. Laws Allowing Others to Re-Disclose Information Without Patient Consent
Testimony by CASA Volunteer Who Obtained Tx Info/Records…§ 9.1-153 [31]
Testimony by Evaluator in Involuntary Commitment .16.1-342 [32] ; 37.2-804.2 [21]

NOTE: To be able to promise absolute confidentiality, a clinician would need to be prepared to disobey all of the laws above that can require or allow disclosure without the patient’s consent, and be prepared to accept the legal and financial consequences if that requires civil disobedience.
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*This information is not a substitute for knowing all the Regulations or Statutes affectinig the practice of your own profession.

You can link to this page with this shortlink: https://centerforethicalpractice.org/virginia-confidentiality [33]

Updated January 2022