NOTE: This provision of law was included in the Unconstitutional Statutes Biennial
Report to the Legislature, dated March 14, 2016.
§3715.1. Medical or hospital records of a patient; subpoena duces tecum and court order to
a health care provider; reimbursement for records produced
A. As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the respective meanings
(1) Patient "records" shall not be deemed to include x-rays, electrocardiograms, and
like graphic matter unless specifically referred to in the subpoena, summons, or court order.
(2) "Health care provider" shall mean a person, partnership, corporation, facility, or
institution defined in R.S. 40:1299.41(A).
B. The exclusive method by which medical, hospital, or other records relating to a
person's medical treatment, history, or condition may be obtained or disclosed by a health
care provider, shall be pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 40:1299.96
or Code of Evidence Article 510, or a lawful subpoena or court order obtained in the
(1) A health care provider shall disclose records of a patient who is a party to
litigation pursuant to a subpoena issued in that litigation, whether for purposes of deposition
or for trial and whether issued in a civil, criminal, workers' compensation, or other
proceeding, but only if: the health care provider has received an affidavit of the party or the
party's attorney at whose request the subpoena has been issued that attests to the fact that
such subpoena is for the records of a party to the litigation and that notice of the subpoena
has been mailed by registered or certified mail to the patient whose records are sought, or,
if represented, to his counsel of record, at least seven days prior to the issuance of the
subpoena; and the subpoena is served on the health care provider at least seven days prior to
the date on which the records are to be disclosed, and the health care provider has not
received a copy of a petition or motion indicating that the patient has taken legal action to
restrain the release of the records. If the requesting party is the patient or, if represented, the
attorney for the patient, the affidavit shall state that the patient authorizes the release of the
records pursuant to the subpoena. No such subpoena shall be issued by any clerk unless the
required affidavit is included with the request.
(2) Any attorney requesting medical records of a patient, who is not a party to the
litigation in which the records are being sought may obtain the records by written
authorization of the patient whose records are being sought or if no such authorization is
given, by court order, as provided in Paragraph (5) hereof.
(3) Any attorney requesting medical records of a patient who is deceased may obtain
the records by subpoena, as provided in Paragraph (1) hereof, by written authorization of the
person authorized under Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.1 or the executor or administrator
of the deceased's estate, or by court order, as provided in Paragraph (5) hereof.
(4) Any subpoena for medical records issued by the office of workers' compensation
administration in the Louisiana Workforce Commission, or by a hearing officer or agent
employed by such office, shall for all purposes be considered a subpoena within the meaning
of this Section.
(5) A court shall issue an order for the production and disclosure of a patient's
records, regardless of whether the patient is a party to the litigation, only: after a
contradictory hearing with the patient, or, if represented, with his counsel of record, or, if
deceased, with those persons identified in Paragraph (3) hereof, and after a finding by the
court that the release of the requested information is proper; or with consent of the patient.
(6) Records of the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any patient which
are maintained in connection with the performance of any program or activity relating to
substance or alcohol abuse, education, training, treatment, rehabilitation, or research, which
is conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by any department or agency of the
United States shall be confidential and disclosed only for the purposes and under the
circumstances expressly authorized in 42 CFR Part 2. Under this Section, said programs
shall include but not be limited to any alcohol or substance abuse clinic or facility operated
by the Louisiana Department of Health. No subpoena or court order shall compel disclosure
of any record or patient-identifying information of an individual who has applied for or been
given diagnosis or treatment for alcohol or drug abuse in a federally assisted program, unless
said court order or subpoena meets the criteria set forth in 42 CFR 2.61, 2.64, or 2.65. No
health care provider, employee, or agent thereof shall be held civilly or criminally liable for
refusing to disclose protected alcohol and substance abuse records or patient-identifying
information unless first presented with a valid consent signed by the individual, which
complies with 42 CFR 2.31 or a court order and subpoena which complies with 42 CFR Part
C. No health care provider, employee, or agent thereof shall be held civilly or
criminally liable for disclosure of the records of a patient pursuant to the procedure set forth
in this Section, R.S. 40:1299.96, or Code of Evidence Article 510, provided that the health
care provider has not received a copy of the petition or motion indicating that legal action has
been taken to restrain the release of the records.
D. Unless the subpoena or court order otherwise specifies, it shall be sufficient
compliance therewith if the health care provider delivers by registered or certified mail, at
least forty-eight hours prior to the date upon which production is due, or delivers by hand on
the date upon which production is due a true and correct copy of all records described in such
subpoena. However, no subpoena or court order shall require the production of original,
nonreproducible materials and records unless accompanied by a court order or stipulation of
the parties and the health care provider which specifies the person who will be responsible
for the care of the items to be produced, the date and manner of the return to the provider of
the items to be produced, and that the items to be produced are not to be destroyed or subject
to destructive testing. Any subpoena duces tecum not timely served shall be quashed by the
trial court without the necessity of an appearance by the hospital, health care facility, or
E. The records shall be accompanied by the certificate of the health care provider or
other qualified witness, stating in substance each of the following:
(1) That the copy is a true copy of all records described in the subpoena.
(2) That the records were prepared by the health care provider in the ordinary course
of the business of the health care provider at or near the time of the act, condition, or event.
F. If the health care provider has none of the records described, or only part thereof,
the health care provider shall so state in the certificate, and deliver the certificate and such
records as are available.
G. The health care provider shall be reimbursed by the person causing the issuance
of the subpoena, summons, or court order in accordance with the provisions of R.S.
H. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no health care
provider, as defined in R.S. 40:1299.96, shall be required to grant access to or copying of
photographs, or both, of any minor or part of a minor's body who is alleged to be the victim
of child sexual abuse unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a contradictory hearing
at which the health care provider may but need not be present, orders the health care provider
to grant access to or copying of said photographs to the moving party's counsel of record or
experts qualified in the medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse, or to both. The court's order
granting the access to or copying of said photographs shall be limited to the movant's counsel
of record or the experts qualified in the medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse, or both;
shall be limited solely to use of said photographs for the purposes of trial preparation; shall
prohibit further copying, reproduction, or dissemination of said photographs; and shall
prohibit counsel of record or the experts qualified in the medical diagnosis of child sexual
abuse from allowing any other person access to said photographs without court order and for
good cause shown.
I. A coroner, deputy coroner, or other assistant, while acting in his official capacity
relating to a physical or mental investigation and examination or an investigation into the
cause and manner of a death, is exempt from complying with the provisions of this Section.
J. The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, Louisiana State Board of
Dentistry, Louisiana State Board of Psychologists, Louisiana State Board of Nursing,
Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, Louisiana
State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, and the Louisiana State Board of Chiropractic
Examiners, while acting in an official capacity relating to an investigation of an individual
over whom such board has regulatory authority shall be exempt from complying with the
notice provisions of this Section when the subpoena clearly states that no notice or affidavit
is required. Notwithstanding any privilege of confidentiality recognized by law, no health
care provider or health care institution with which such health care provider is affiliated
shall, acting under any such privilege, fail or refuse to respond to a lawfully issued subpoena
of such board for any medical information, testimony, records, data, reports or other
documents, tangible items, or information relative to any patient treated by such individual
under investigation; however, the identity of any patient identified in or by such records or
information shall be maintained in confidence by such board and shall be deemed a privilege
of confidentiality existing in favor of any such patient. For the purpose of maintaining such
confidentiality of patient identity, such board shall cause any such medical records or the
transcript of any such testimony to be altered so as to prevent the disclosure of the identity
of the patient to whom such records or testimony relates.
K. Any attorney who causes the issuance of a subpoena or court order for medical,
hospital, or other records relating to a person's medical treatment, history, or condition and
who intentionally fails to provide notice to the patient or to the patient's counsel of record in
accordance with the requirements of this Section shall be subject to sanction by the court.
L. No provision of this Section shall preclude a patient from personally receiving a
copy or synopsis of his medical records as provided by law.
Added by Acts 1979, No. 75, §1; Acts 1987, No. 802, §1; Acts 1992, No. 660, §1;
Acts 1993, No. 988, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1250, §2; Acts 1999, No. 793, §1; Acts 2001, No.
375, §1; Acts 2001, No. 396, §1; Acts 2004, No. 252, §1; Acts 2006, No. 370, §1; Acts 2008,
No. 743, §7, eff. July 1, 2008.