44:17       Immunization records; definitions; disclosure; liability; procedures

 A. Definitions

 As used in this Section:

 (1) "Minor" means a person who is seventeen years old or younger or who is not legally emancipated.

 (2) "Patient" means a natural person who receives health care from a licensed health care provider under a contract, expressed or implied.

 (3) "Private health care provider" means:

 (a) A physician, surgeon, licensed registered or licensed practical nurse, and any employee of a physician or surgeon acting within the course and scope of employment and who is not providing health care services by or on behalf of the state.

 (b) A resident, intern, or student of, or any person who is otherwise qualified in a discipline listed in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph when the person is acting within the course and scope of the training or staff appointment in and under the supervision of the health care providers listed in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph.

 (4) "Representative of a patient" means a person who is a parent, tutor, curator, spouse, trustee, attorney, or other legal agent of the patient and who is authorized, by and on behalf of the patient, to exercise any of the patient's rights or privileges.

 (5) "State health care provider" means a state health care provider as defined in R.S. 40:1299.39.

 B. Information and records pertaining to the immunization status of persons against childhood diseases as required by R.S. 17:170 and R.S. 40:4(A)(2), may be disclosed and exchanged with verbal consent of the patient or his representative and without a patient's, or his representative's, written release authorizing such disclosure, to any of the following:

 (1) State health care provider.

 (2) Private health care provider.

 (3) Representative of a patient.

 (4) A patient who is not a minor.

 C. If any person authorized in Subsection B discloses such information for any purpose other than for administering or receiving vaccinations, such disclosure shall be considered as an unauthorized release of confidential information, and such person shall be liable for civil damages.

 D. The Department of Health and Hospitals shall promulgate rules and regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to establish procedures whereby immunization information may be released from one health care provider to another.

Added by Acts 1995, No. 521, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.