CHAPTER 308

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 507

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO NOTIFICATION OF PATIENTS BY A PHYSICIAN OR THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF A PHYSICIAN'S ESTATE.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

Section 1. Amend §1761(a), Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (a) in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(a) Every physician licensed to practice under this chapter who is discontinuing a business in this State or is leaving this State and who is not transferring patient records to another physician shall notify his or her patients of record by publishing a notice to that effect in a newspaper of daily circulation in the area where the physician practices. The notice must be published at least 3 times over a three-month period in advance of discontinuing the business or leaving the State and must explain how a patient can procure his or her patient records. All patients of record who have not requested their records 30 days before the closing of the business shall be notified by first class mail by the physician to permit the patients to procure their records. Any patient records that have not been procured within 7 years after the physician discontinues business or leaves the State may be permanently disposed of in a manner that ensures confidentiality of the records.”.

Section 2. Amend §1761(b), Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (b) in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(b) When a physician licensed to practice under this chapter dies and has not transferred patient records to another physician and has not made provisions for a transfer of patient records to occur upon the physician’s death, a personal representative of the physician’s estate shall notify the physician’s patients of record by publishing a notice to that effect in a newspaper of daily circulation in the area where the physician practiced. The notice must be published at least 3 times over a three-month period after the physician’s death and must explain how a patient can procure his or her patient records. All patients of record who have not requested their records 30 days after publication shall be notified by first class mail by the personal representative of the estate to permit the patients to procure their records. Any patient records that have not been procured within 7 years after the death of the physician may be permanently disposed of in a manner that ensures confidentiality of the records.”.

Section 3. Amend §1761, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection to read:

“(d) A physician, or the personal representative of the estate of a physician, who disposes of patient records in accordance with the provisions of this section is not liable for any direct or indirect loss suffered as a result of the disposal of a patient’s records.”.

Approved May 26,2000