S.B. NO.














Relating to privacy.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that since the adoption of electronic medical records, medical identity theft is a potential threat to public welfare. Victims of medical identity theft are burdened with the responsibility of clearing their personal medical records of fraudulent information. A victim will suffer financial harm and may find their medical record commingled with a thief's medical information including, but not limited to blood type, test results, allergies, or illnesses. Insurers and healthcare providers operating pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 "HIPAA," the HITECH Act, and 18 U.S.C. 1347 Healthcare Fraud, may mistakenly deny victims full access to their complete medical records to protect identifying information of thieves. The HIPAA Privacy Rule was updated April 14, 2003, granting a victim of identity theft the right to request amendments to medical records. Requests for medical record amendments are subject to institutional fees for release. Without proper correction to medical records, victims face a reduced ability to secure health insurance on the individual market. An amendment is necessary to provide unfettered access to records to the victims of medical identity theft free of charge.

SECTION 2. Section 622-57, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"622-57 Availability of medical records. (a) If a patient of a health care provider as defined in section 671‑1, requests copies of the patient's medical records, the copies shall be made available to the patient unless, in the opinion of the health care provider, it would be detrimental to the health of the patient to obtain the records. If the health care provider is of the opinion that release of the records to the patient would be detrimental to the health of the patient, the health care provider shall advise the patient that copies of the records will be made available to the patient's attorney upon presentation of a proper authorization signed by the patient.

(b) If an attorney for a patient asks a health care provider for copies of the patient's medical records and presents a proper authorization from the patient for the release of the information, complete and accurate copies of the records shall be given to the attorney within a reasonable time not to exceed ten working days.

(c) In the case of a deceased person, a personal representative of the deceased person's estate may obtain copies of or may authorize the health care provider to release copies of the deceased person's medical records upon presentation of proper documentation showing the personal representative's authority.

If no personal representative has been appointed, the deceased person's next of kin in order of superseding priority, without court order, may obtain copies of or may authorize the health care provider to release copies of the deceased person's medical records, except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subsections (d) and (e). A deceased person's next of kin possesses superseding priority when all kin ranked higher in the order listed in the definition of "deceased person's next of kin" are deceased or incapacitated. When there are multiple persons at the same level of superseding priority, all such persons shall be entitled to request and obtain the records. The person claiming to be next of kin of a deceased person and requesting the deceased person's medical records shall submit to the medical provider from whom the records are requested, an affidavit attesting to status as next of kin with superseding priority. The medical provider may rely upon the affidavit, and in so doing, shall be immune to any claims relating to release of the medical records.

(d) Notwithstanding applicable state confidentiality laws governing the following types of specially protected health information, a health care provider may honor, in whole or in part, a request by the deceased person's next of kin for release of medical records if the medical records of the deceased person contain references pertaining to any of the following types of specially protected health information:

(1) HIV infection, AIDS, or AIDS-related complex;

(2) Diagnosis or treatment of a mental illness; or

(3) Participation in a substance abuse treatment program.

(e) A health care provider shall refuse a request by the deceased person's next of kin for release of medical records if the deceased person had previously indicated to the medical provider in writing that the person did not wish to have medical records released to next of kin.

(f) Notwithstanding subsections (c) through (e), any medical records of a deceased person may be produced pursuant to a court order specifically compelling release.

(g) Reasonable costs incurred by a health care provider in making copies of medical records shall be borne by the requesting person.

(h) Patients or legal representatives of victims of medical insurance fraud shall receive complete copies, free of charge, of any and all records possessed by any health care provider upon any determination of medical insurance fraud within ten days of written request. Identifying information of patients other than the victim of record shall not prevent a victim from access to records.

(hi) For the purposes of this section:

"Deceased person's next of kin" means a person with the following relationship to the deceased person:

(1) The spouse or reciprocal beneficiary;

(2) An adult child;

(3) Either parent;

(4) An adult sibling;

(5) A grandparent; and

(6) A guardian at the time of death.

"Personal representative" shall have the meaning provided in section 560:1-201."

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Relating to Privacy



Right of victims of medical identity related fraud to access medical records free of charge.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.