California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 5328.15

All information and records obtained in the course of providing services under Division 5 (commencing with Section 5000 ), Division 6 (commencing with Section 6000 ), or Division 7 (commencing with Section 7100 ), to either voluntary or involuntary recipients of services shall be confidential.  Information and records may be disclosed, however, notwithstanding any other law, as follows:

(a) To authorized licensing personnel who are employed by, or who are authorized representatives of, the State Department of Public Health, and who are licensed or registered health professionals, and to authorized legal staff or special investigators who are peace officers who are employed by, or who are authorized representatives of the State Department of Social Services, as necessary to the performance of their duties to inspect, license, and investigate health facilities and community care facilities and to ensure that the standards of care and services provided in such facilities are adequate and appropriate and to ascertain compliance with the rules and regulations to which the facility is subject.  The confidential information shall remain confidential except for purposes of inspection, licensing, or investigation pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1250 ) of, and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500 ) of, Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, or a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding in relation thereto.  The confidential information may be used by the State Department of Public Health or the State Department of Social Services in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding.  The confidential information shall be available only to the judge or hearing officer and to the parties to the case.  Names which are confidential shall be listed in attachments separate to the general pleadings.  The confidential information shall be sealed after the conclusion of the criminal, civil, or administrative hearings, and shall not subsequently be released except in accordance with this subdivision.  If the confidential information does not result in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, it shall be sealed after the State Department of Public Health or the State Department of Social Services decides that no further action will be taken in the matter of suspected licensing violations.  Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, confidential information in the possession of the State Department of Public Health or the State Department of Social Services shall not contain the name of the patient.

(b) To any board which licenses and certifies professionals in the fields of mental health pursuant to state law, when the Director of State Hospitals has reasonable cause to believe that there has occurred a violation of any provision of law subject to the jurisdiction of that board and the records are relevant to the violation.  The information shall be sealed after a decision is reached in the matter of the suspected violation, and shall not subsequently be released except in accordance with this subdivision.  Confidential information in the possession of the board shall not contain the name of the patient.

(c) To a protection and advocacy agency established pursuant to Section 4901 , to the extent that the information is incorporated within any of the following:

(1) An unredacted facility evaluation report form or an unredacted complaint investigation report form of the State Department of Social Services.  The information shall remain confidential and subject to the confidentiality requirements of subdivision (f) of Section 4903 .

(2) An unredacted citation report, unredacted licensing report, unredacted survey report, unredacted plan of correction, or unredacted statement of deficiency of the State Department of Public Health, prepared by authorized licensing personnel or authorized representatives as described in subdivision (a).  The information shall remain confidential and subject to the confidentiality requirements of subdivision (f) of Section 4903 .


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