The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 18: Health

Chapter 171: GENERAL PROVISIONS

18 V.S.A. § 7103. Disclosure of information



§ 7103. Disclosure of information

(a) All certificates, applications, records, and reports, other than an order of a court made for the purposes of this part of this title, and directly or indirectly identifying a patient or former patient or an individual whose hospitalization or care has been sought or provided under this part, together with clinical information relating to such persons shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed by any person except insofar:

(1) as the individual identified, the individual's health care agent under section 5264 of this title, or the individual's legal guardian, if any (or, if the individual is an unemancipated minor, his or her parent or legal guardian), shall consent in writing; or

(2) as disclosure may be necessary to carry out any of the provisions of this part; or

(3) as a court may direct upon its determination that disclosure is necessary for the conduct of proceedings before it and that failure to make disclosure would be contrary to the public interest.

(b) Nothing in this section shall preclude disclosure, upon proper inquiry, of information concerning medical condition to the individual's family, clergy, physician, attorney, the individual's health care agent under section 5264 of this title, a person to whom disclosure is authorized by a validly executed durable power of attorney for health care, or to an interested party.

(c) Any person violating this section shall be fined not more than $2,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(d) Nothing in 12 V.S.A. § 1612(a) shall affect the provisions of this section.

(e) Mandatory disclosure to home providers.

(1) With the written consent of the individual, or his or her guardian, an agency designated by the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living or of health to provide developmental disability and mental health services shall disclose all relevant information, in writing, to a potential home care provider for that individual so that the provider has the opportunity to make a fully informed decision prior to the placement.

(2) If the individual, or his or her guardian, does not consent to the disclosure, the placement will not occur unless the home care provider agrees, in writing, to the placement, absent disclosure.

(3) A home care provider must furnish to any person providing respite care, the individual's relevant information obtained from the agency designated by the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living or of health to provide developmental disability and mental health services, as provided in this subsection. Where the home care provider has agreed to placement without disclosure, the home care provider shall inform the respite provider of that fact.

(4) Home care and respite providers, whether or not they agree to a placement, shall be subject to the confidentiality and disclosure requirements of subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section.

(5) As used in this subsection:

(A) "Home care provider" means a person or entity paid by an agency designated by the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living or of health to provide developmental disability and mental health services, to provide care in his or her home.

(B) "Relevant information" means information needed to protect the individual and others from harm, including any relevant history of violent behavior or conduct causing danger of harm to others, as defined in subdivision 7101(17)(A) of this title, any medications presently prescribed to the individual, and any known precursors of dangerous behavior that may cause future harm.

(C) "Respite provider" means a person, paid by a home care provider, to provide care by the day or overnight in the person's home.

(6) Any written disclosure of relevant information under this subsection shall also include notice of the confidentiality and disclosure requirements of this section.

(7) Where the individual has consented to disclosure, an agency designated by the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living or health to provide developmental disability and mental health services shall provide updated information regarding the individual to the home care provider. (Added 1967, No. 305 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; amended 1981, No. 221 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2001, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 15, 2002; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 36.)