SECTION 42-15-95. Release of medical records; communication of medical history by health care provider.
(A) Any employee who seeks treatment for any injury, disease, or condition for which compensation is sought under the provisions of this title shall be considered to have given his consent for the release of medical records relating to such examination or treatment under any applicable law or regulation. All information compiled by a health care facility, as defined in Section 44-7-130, or a health care provider licensed pursuant to Title 40 pertaining directly to a workers’ compensation claim must be provided to the insurance carrier, the employer, the employee, their respective attorneys or certified rehabilitation professionals, or the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, within fourteen days after receipt of written request. A health care facility and a health care provider may charge a fee for the search and duplication of a medical record in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Fee schedules established through regulations of the Workers’ Compensation Commission shall apply only to claims under Title 42. If a health care provider fails to send the requested information within thirty days after receipt of the request, the person or entity making the request may apply to the commission for an appropriate penalty payable to the commission, not to exceed two hundred dollars.

(B) A health care provider who provides examination or treatment for any injury, disease, or condition for which compensation is sought under the provisions of this title may discuss or communicate an employee’s medical history, diagnosis, causation, course of treatment, prognosis, work restrictions, and impairments with the insurance carrier, employer, their respective attorneys or certified rehabilitation professionals, or the commission without the employee’s consent. The employee must be:

(1) notified by the employer, carrier, or its representative requesting the discussion or communication with the health care provider in a timely fashion, in writing or orally, of the discussion or communication and may attend and participate. This notification must occur prior to the actual discussion or communication if the health care provider knows the discussion or communication will occur in the near future;

(2) advised by the employer, carrier, or its representative requesting the discussion or communication with the health care provider of the nature of the discussion or communication prior to the discussion or communication; and

(3) provided with a copy of the written questions at the same time the questions are submitted to the health care provider. The employee also must be provided with a copy of the response by the health care provider.

Any discussion or communication must not conflict with or interfere with the employee’s examination or treatment.

Any discussions, communications, medical reports, or opinions obtained in accordance with this section will not constitute a breach of the physician’s duty of confidentiality.

(C) Any discussions, communications, medical reports, or opinions obtained in violation of this section must be excluded from any proceedings under the provisions of this title.

HISTORY: 1980 Act No. 318, § 1; 1989 Act No. 186, § 1, eff June 8, 1989; 1990 Act No. 476, § 1, eff May 14, 1990; 1994 Act No. 468, § 5, eff July 14, 1994; 2007 Act No. 111, Pt I, § 29, eff July 1, 2007, applicable to injuries that occur on or after that date.