Privacy of Medical Information in California

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Privacy of Medical Information in California

Your medical records may be more private than you think. At times, individuals or companies may want to access your medical records. This can be a problem because information in your medical records may be used against your best interest. For example:

California Constitution Protects Medical Privacy

However, California has stringent privacy laws that make it difficult for other people to access your medical information. Unlike the Federal Constitution, the California Constitution specifically protects a person’s medical information privacy. 

The premier medical privacy statute in California is the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CIMA). CIMA protects the medical history, condition, and treatment of ailments, including sexually transmitted diseases, rapes, and mental diseases. A health care provider cannot disclose medical information unless authorized by the proper court of law, law enforcement or health agency, or other governmental entity. 

Another California medical privacy statute is the Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act (IIPPA). IIPPA prevents insurers and their agencies from revealing certain medical information obtained about a client. 

Finally, there is the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, which broadly prohibits providers of healthcare services from disclosing patients’ private information, except to the courts as necessary for justice. 

Importance of Privacy Laws

Medical information privacy laws keep Californians secure in the knowledge that they will not be fired from their jobs as a result of consulting with a doctor about their health problems. For a health care system to work at all, patients need to completely trust that their doctor will not share their private, and often embarrassing, health information.

Consulting an Attorney

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you should consult a privacy law violation lawyer. Your doctor and/ or hospital may be liable for serious criminal charges and civil damages. An experienced lawyer can help you find your best course of legal action and represent you in court.

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Last Modified: 03-12-2014 02:22 PM PDT

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