By Haywood                                       S.B. No. 208

      75R3631 JJT-F                           

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to the disclosure of certain information regarding certain

 1-3     patients of a physician.


 1-5           SECTION 1.  Section 576.005, Health and Safety Code, is

 1-6     amended by amending Subsections (c) and (d) and adding Subsections

 1-7     (e)-(g) to read as follows:

 1-8           (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), a [A] disclosure

 1-9     under Subsection (b) may not be made if the patient gives contrary

1-10     written instructions to the treating physician.

1-11           (d)  Without regard to the patient's written instructions, a

1-12     physician may disclose under Subsection (b)  information

1-13     identifying the patient or information about the patient's location

1-14     to the patient's:

1-15                 (1)  parent, if the patient is a minor; or

1-16                 (2)  guardian of the person, if the patient is a minor

1-17     or is incapacitated.

1-18           (e)  If the treating physician has reason to believe that

1-19     disclosure to a legally authorized representative under this

1-20     section would be harmful to the patient's physical, mental, or

1-21     emotional health, the physician may disclose to the legally

1-22     authorized representative only whether the requested records exist

1-23     and whether the patient is in the facility.  The treating physician

1-24     shall inform the representative of the physician's belief that the

 2-1     release of additional information would be harmful to the patient.

 2-2     If the physician denies further disclosure under this subsection,

 2-3     the physician shall:

 2-4                 (1)  report to the Department of Protective and

 2-5     Regulatory Services the representative's request for information;

 2-6     and

 2-7                 (2)  request that the department obtain a protective

 2-8     order on the patient's behalf.

 2-9           (f)  If a hearing on the motion for a protective order is

2-10     held, the court shall:

2-11                 (1)  determine what information may be disclosed and

2-12     what information shall remain confidential; and

2-13                 (2)  issue any appropriate orders.

2-14           (g)  For the purposes of this section "legally authorized

2-15     representative" means:

2-16                 (1)  a parent or legal guardian if the patient is a

2-17     minor, or a legal guardian if the patient has been adjudicated

2-18     incapacitated [incompetent] to manage the patient's personal

2-19     affairs;

2-20                 (2)  an agent of the patient authorized under a durable

2-21     power of attorney for health care;

2-22                 (3)  an attorney ad litem appointed for the patient;

2-23     or

2-24                 (4)  a parent, spouse, adult child, or personal

2-25     representative if the patient is deceased.

2-26           SECTION 2.  The importance of this legislation and the

2-27     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

 3-1     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

 3-2     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

 3-3     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

 3-4     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

 3-5     passage, and it is so enacted.