Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 53.1. Prisons and Other Methods of Correction
Chapter 2. State Correctional Facilities

§ 53.1-40.10. Exchange of medical and mental health information and records.

A. Whenever a person is committed to a state correctional facility, the following shall be entitled to obtain medical and mental health information and records concerning such person from a health care provider, even when such person does not provide consent or consent is not readily obtainable:

1. The person in charge of the facility, or his designee, when such information and records are necessary (i) for the provision of health care to the person committed, (ii) to protect the health and safety of the person committed or other residents or staff of the facility, or (iii) to maintain the security and safety of the facility. Such information and records may be exchanged among administrative personnel for the facility in which the person is imprisoned as necessary to maintain the security and safety of the facility, its employees, or other prisoners. The information exchanged shall continue to be confidential and disclosure shall be limited to that necessary to ensure the security and safety of the facility.

2. Members of the Parole Board, as specified in § 53.1-138, in order to conduct the investigation required under § 53.1-155.

3. Probation and parole officers for use in parole and probation planning, release, and supervision.

4. Officials within the Department for the purpose of formulating recommendations for treatment and rehabilitative programs; classification, security and work assignments; and determining the necessity for medical, dental, and mental health care, treatment, and programs.

5. Medical and mental health hospitals and facilities, both public and private, including community services boards, for use in planning for and supervision of post-incarceration medical and mental health care, treatment, and programs.

6. The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Social Services, and any local department of social services in the Commonwealth for the purposes of reentry planning and post-incarceration placement and services.

B. Substance abuse records subject to federal regulations, Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, 42 C.F.R. § 2.11 et seq., shall not be subject to the provisions of this section. The disclosure of results of a test for human immunodeficiency virus shall not be permitted except as provided in § 32.1-36.1.

C. The release of medical and mental health information and records to any other agency or individual shall be subject to all regulations promulgated by the Department that govern confidentiality of such records. Medical and mental health information concerning a prisoner that has been exchanged pursuant to this section may be used only as provided herein and shall otherwise remain confidential and protected from disclosure.

D. The Department shall develop policies to improve the exchange of medical and mental health information and records of persons committed to a state correctional facility, including policies to improve access to electronic health records and electronic exchange of information and records for the provision of telemedicine and telepsychiatry.

1991, c. 597; 2013, cc. 164, 235; 2018, c. 165; 2019, cc. 202, 827.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.