61st Legislature
2009 Regular Session

Passed by the House April 20, 2009
  Yeas 95   Nays 0

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate April 7, 2009
  Yeas 44   Nays 0

President of the Senate

I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is HOUSE BILL 2025 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington




Passed Legislature - 2009 Regular Session
State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Representatives Orwall, Hinkle, Dickerson, Green, Appleton, Driscoll, Morrell, Kagi, Van De Wege, and Kenney

Read first time 02/06/09.   Referred to Committee on Human Services.

     AN ACT Relating to sharing of health care information to promote coordination of behavioral and medical care services; and amending RCW 71.05.630.


Sec. 1   RCW 71.05.630 and 2007 c 191 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) Except as otherwise provided by law, all treatment records shall remain confidential and may be released only to the persons designated in this section, or to other persons designated in an informed written consent of the patient.
     (2) Treatment records of a person may be released without informed written consent in the following circumstances:
     (a) To a person, organization, or agency as necessary for management or financial audits, or program monitoring and evaluation. Information obtained under this subsection shall remain confidential and may not be used in a manner that discloses the name or other identifying information about the person whose records are being released.
     (b) To the department, the director of regional support networks, or a qualified staff member designated by the director only when necessary to be used for billing or collection purposes. The information shall remain confidential.
     (c) For purposes of research as permitted in chapter 42.48 RCW.
     (d) Pursuant to lawful order of a court.
     (e) To qualified staff members of the department, to the director of regional support networks, to resource management services responsible for serving a patient, or to service providers designated by resource management services as necessary to determine the progress and adequacy of treatment and to determine whether the person should be transferred to a less restrictive or more appropriate treatment modality or facility. The information shall remain confidential.
     (f) Within the treatment facility where the patient is receiving treatment, confidential information may be disclosed to persons employed, serving in bona fide training programs, or participating in supervised volunteer programs, at the facility when it is necessary to perform their duties.
     (g) Within the department as necessary to coordinate treatment for mental illness, developmental disabilities, alcoholism, or drug abuse of persons who are under the supervision of the department.
     (h) To a licensed physician who has determined that the life or health of the person is in danger and that treatment without the information contained in the treatment records could be injurious to the patient's health. Disclosure shall be limited to the portions of the records necessary to meet the medical emergency.
     (i) Consistent with the requirements of the health information portability and accountability act, to a licensed mental health professional, as defined in RCW 71.05.020, or a health care professional licensed under chapter 18.71, 18.71A, 18.57, 18.57A, 18.79, or 18.36A RCW who is providing care to a person, or to whom a person has been referred for evaluation or treatment, to assure coordinated care and treatment of that person. Psychotherapy notes, as defined in 45 C.F.R. Sec. 164.501, may not be released without authorization of the person who is the subject of the request for release of information.
     (j) To administrative and office support staff designated to obtain medical records for those licensed professionals listed in (i) of this subsection.
To a facility that is to receive a person who is involuntarily committed under chapter 71.05 RCW, or upon transfer of the person from one treatment facility to another. The release of records under this subsection shall be limited to the treatment records required by law, a record or summary of all somatic treatments, and a discharge summary. The discharge summary may include a statement of the patient's problem, the treatment goals, the type of treatment which has been provided, and recommendation for future treatment, but may not include the patient's complete treatment record.
     (((j))) (l) Notwithstanding the provisions of RCW 71.05.390(7), to a correctional facility or a corrections officer who is responsible for the supervision of a person who is receiving inpatient or outpatient evaluation or treatment. Except as provided in RCW 71.05.445 and 71.34.345, release of records under this section is limited to:
     (i) An evaluation report provided pursuant to a written supervision plan.
     (ii) The discharge summary, including a record or summary of all somatic treatments, at the termination of any treatment provided as part of the supervision plan.
     (iii) When a person is returned from a treatment facility to a correctional facility, the information provided under (((j))) (l)(iv) of this subsection.
     (iv) Any information necessary to establish or implement changes in the person's treatment plan or the level or kind of supervision as determined by resource management services. In cases involving a person transferred back to a correctional facility, disclosure shall be made to clinical staff only.
     (((k))) (m) To the person's counsel or guardian ad litem, without modification, at any time in order to prepare for involuntary commitment or recommitment proceedings, reexaminations, appeals, or other actions relating to detention, admission, commitment, or patient's rights under chapter 71.05 RCW.
     (((l))) (n) To staff members of the protection and advocacy agency or to staff members of a private, nonprofit corporation for the purpose of protecting and advocating the rights of persons with mental disorders or developmental disabilities. Resource management services may limit the release of information to the name, birthdate, and county of residence of the patient, information regarding whether the patient was voluntarily admitted, or involuntarily committed, the date and place of admission, placement, or commitment, the name and address of a guardian of the patient, and the date and place of the guardian's appointment. Any staff member who wishes to obtain additional information shall notify the patient's resource management services in writing of the request and of the resource management services' right to object. The staff member shall send the notice by mail to the guardian's address. If the guardian does not object in writing within fifteen days after the notice is mailed, the staff member may obtain the additional information. If the guardian objects in writing within fifteen days after the notice is mailed, the staff member may not obtain the additional information.
     (((m))) (o) For purposes of coordinating health care, the department may release without informed written consent of the patient, information acquired for billing and collection purposes as described in (b) of this subsection to all current treating providers of the patient with prescriptive authority who have written a prescription for the patient within the last twelve months. The department shall notify the patient that billing and collection information has been released to named providers, and provide the substance of the information released and the dates of such release. The department shall not release counseling, inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, or drug and alcohol treatment information without a signed written release from the client.
     (3) Whenever federal law or federal regulations restrict the release of information contained in the treatment records of any patient who receives treatment for chemical dependency, the department may restrict the release of the information as necessary to comply with federal law and regulations.

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