New Mexico’s rules for medical records are detailed in N.M. Reg. 22.214.171.124
Confidentiality and Data Privacy
All mental health counselors, therapists, and alcohol and drug counselors may not disclose confidential information pertaining to a client. A licensee must inform the client of limitations on confidentiality. The licensee should continue to treat information as confidential even after the relationship with the client has ended.
Disclosure With Consent
A client may give informed written consent to disclosure of their treatment information. A parent or guardian must consent to disclosure of information on behalf of a client who is under the age of consent.
Disclosure Without Consent
Substance abuse treatment information may be disclosed if “necessary to protect against a clear and substantial risk of imminent serious harm being inflicted by the client on the client or another person(s).” If the counselor is a defendant in a civil, criminal, or disciplinary action arising from the treatment, confidential information from the client may be disclosed in that action. Confidential information may be disclosed for purpose of reporting the abuse of children and vulnerable adults. Information may be disclosed for purposes of supervision, teaching, research or other published reports, provided that patient identifying information is disguised.
The regulation does not address disclosure pursuant to a court order.
N.M. Code R. § 126.96.36.199
Release of medical records
A patient or the patient’s legally designated representative may request a complete copy of the patient’s medical records. Physicians must provide copies to a patient or to another physician as requested in a timely manner, except that psychotherapy notes, which must be maintained separately from the rest of the patient’s medical record, may be withheld from the patient. Psychotherapy notes may be released to other health care providers upon the express authorization from the patient. If the medical records are the property of a separate and independent organization, the physician should act as the patient’s advocate and work to facilitate the patient’s request for records.
A physician may charge a reasonable cost-based copying fee of up to $30 for the first 15 pages, and $0.25 per page thereafter, and the actual cost of reproducing electronic records and record formats other than paper, such as x-rays. A physician may also charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for mailing the records, as applicable.
A physician may not withhold medical records because an account is overdue or a bill for treatment, medical records, or other services is owed.
N.M. Code R. § 188.8.131.52
These requirements apply to all licensed public and private hospital facilities in New Mexico.
Every hospital must have written policies on patient rights and responsibilities that must provide the following:
- Patients may not be denied appropriate hospital care because of the patient’s race creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability or source of payment;
- Patients must be treated with consideration, respect, and recognition of their individuality, including the need for privacy in treatment;
- The individual patient’s medical records, including all computerized medical information, must be kept confidential in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws;
- The patient or any authorized person must have access to the patient’s medical record, except that access to psychiatric records may be limited by treating professionals when hospital policies specify requirements for limiting access;
- Every patient shall be entitled to know who has overall responsibility for the patient’s care;
- Every patient or any authorized person must receive information about the patient’s illness, course of treatment and prognosis for recovery in terms the patient can understand from the appropriate person within the facility;
- Every patient, or his designated representative where appropriate, must have the opportunity to participate to the fullest extent possible in planning for the patient’s care and treatment;
- Every patient, or his designated representative, must be given a copy of the patient’s rights and responsibilities at the time of admission;
- Except in emergencies, the consent of the patient, or his or her authorized representative, must be obtained before treatment is administered;
- Any patient may refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and must be informed of the medical consequences of the refusal;
- The patient, his or her authorized representative, or other person granted the power to authorize medical treatment, must be fully informed and give consent for the patient’s participation in any form of research or experimentation;
- Except in emergencies, the patient may be transferred to another facility only with a full explanation of the reason for the transfer, provision for continuing care; and acceptance by the receiving institution;
- Every patient must be informed in writing about the hospital’s policies and procedures for initiation, review and resolution of patient complaints, including the address where complaints may be filed with the department; and
- Every patient must have freedom from physical or verbal abuse, harassment and inappropriate physical and chemical restraints.
Every hospital must report to the tumor registry all malignant neoplasms that are diagnosed by the hospital and all malignant neoplasm’s diagnosed elsewhere if the individual is subsequently admitted to the hospital. The report must be submitted to the University of New Mexico tumor registry within six months after the diagnosis is made or within six months after the individual’s first admission to the hospital if the neoplasm is diagnosed elsewhere, as appropriate.
A policy for compliance with all applicable state and federal reporting requirements must be adopted and updated as necessary; such federal requirements include but are not limited to the New Mexico health policy commission, the national practitioner data bank and the healthcare integrity and protection data bank.
N.M. Stat. § 14-6-3
Access to medical records by applicants for disability benefits; violations
These requirements apply to any person who is licensed, certified or otherwise authorized by law to provide or render health care, as well as to any facility that employs or contracts with such person.
A patient or former patient who is applying for benefits based on social security disability or appealing a denial of such benefits, or an authorized representative of such patient, may request a copy of the patient’s medical records. Within thirty days of receiving such request, the health care provider must provide the copy, and may charge the requestor for copying and/or obtaining the record.
The request submitted to the provider must include a statement or document from the agency that administers the benefits confirming the application or appeal.
Call for a free 15-minute consultation (505) 506-9434.