Full disclosure

January 9, 2004

Does the minimum necessary standard always apply, or should I release more complete information under certain circumstances?

Q: Does the minimum necessary standard always apply, or should I release more complete information under certain circumstances?

A: The concept of minimum necessary doesn't apply when (1) another healthcare provider (for instance, a consulting or referring physician) needs medical information for treatment purposes; (2) the patient concerned requests the information; (3) the patient signs a form authorizing release of certain information; (4) the disclosure is made to the Department of Health and Human Services; (5) the disclosure is required by law (for example, in cases of abuse or neglect, for judicial or administrative proceedings, or for law enforcement purposes); or (6) the disclosure is required for compliance with a HIPAA provision.