AN ACT relative to mental health records.

SPONSORS: Rep. Kurk, Hills 7

COMMITTEE: Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs


This bill establishes procedures that the board of mental health practice shall follow in requesting and handling mental health information from its licensees, hospitals, and other providers.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to mental health records.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Mental Health Records. Amend RSA 330-A:28, V to read as follows:

V. The board may, with just cause, at any time subpoena mental health records from its licensees and from hospitals and other health care providers licensed in this state. Such subpoenas shall be served by certified mail or by personal delivery to the address shown on the respondent’s current license. A minimum of 15 days’ advance notice shall be allowed for complying with a subpoena duces tecum issued under this paragraph. The board shall obtain, handle, archive, and destroy mental health records as follows:

(a) When the client/patient has provided a signed release of information for the board to review such records, the board may obtain copies of the relevant mental health records.

(b) If a sworn statement from the complainant has been submitted, the board may pursue obtaining the mental health records when the permission of the client/patient has not been provided in the initial complaint:

(1) The board shall notify the client/patient or his or her guardian of the request to obtain permission for the state to obtain the records.

(2) The board shall hear objections by the client/patient or his or her guardian concerning such request.

(3) If the board wishes to override the objection of the client/patient or his or her guardian, the board shall seek a court order in order to obtain the records.

(4) No records shall be provided to the board without the client/patient’s knowledge or consent without a court order.

(c) Copies of client/patient records that are redacted of personally identifiable information shall be exempt from subparagraphs (a) and (b) and may be provided to the board directly by the health care provider. Originals of the record’s copies may be viewed in camera by the board’s investigator to ascertain their completeness and accuracy.

(d)(1) Mental health records obtained through subparagraphs (a)-(c) shall be:

(A) Archived at the conclusion of the licensee investigation case, including all discipline action and completion, appeals, and appeal periods, and the client/patient records shall be reduced to those clients/patients and sections of records that had been included in the prosecution, defense, deliberation, determination, and fulfillment of agreements, orders, and requirements of the case;

(B) Redacted of all personally identifiable information; and

(C) Archived separately from the identifying information of the client/patient concerning the complaint.

(2) The archived mental health records shall be destroyed according to the attorney general’s archive destruction schedule.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.