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Maryland Code, Health-General § 18-904

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(a) In this section, “information” means medical, epidemiological, or other data concerning a specific individual or a group of individuals, regardless of whether the information is otherwise deemed confidential under Title 4 of this article or as otherwise provided under law.

(b) In order to maintain an effective disease surveillance system for detecting whether individuals have been exposed to a deadly agent, the Secretary may by order, directive, or regulation:

(1) Require a health care provider or other person to report information to the Secretary or other public official on the following:

(i) The presence of an individual or group of individuals with specified illnesses or symptoms;

(ii) Diagnostic and laboratory findings relating to diseases caused by deadly agents;

(iii) Statistical or utilization trends relating to potential disease outbreaks;

(iv) Information needed to conduct contact tracing for exposed individuals;  and

(v) Other data deemed by the Secretary to have epidemiological significance in detecting possible catastrophic health emergencies;

(2) Obtain access to information in the possession of a health care provider;

(3) Require or authorize a health care provider to disclose information to an agency of the federal, State, or local government or another health care provider;

(4) Require a health care provider or other person to submit reports to the Department containing information detailing the presence and use of deadly agents;

(5) Obtain access to premises in order to secure environmental samples and otherwise investigate actual or potential exposures to deadly agents;  and

(6) Require a veterinarian or other person to report data relating to specified illnesses or symptoms in animal populations.

(c) The Secretary, in acquiring information under subsection (b) of this section, shall:

(1) Request and use nonidentifying information whenever possible;  and

(2) Limit the use of confidential information to the extent necessary to detect and investigate actual or potential exposures to a deadly agent.

(d)(1) Any information that the Secretary receives under subsection (b) of this section is confidential and may be used or disclosed only in accordance with this section.

(2) If the information requested in subsection (b) of this section is otherwise confidential under Title 4 of this article or as otherwise provided under law, the Secretary or person that receives the information may not redisclose the information except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(3) A person may redisclose the information to another health care provider or public official provided that:

(i) The health care provider or public agency to whom the information is disclosed will maintain the confidentiality of the disclosure;  and

(ii) The Secretary determines the disclosure is necessary to treat, prevent, or reduce the spread of the disease or outbreak believed to have been caused by the exposure to a deadly agent.

Cite this article: - Maryland Code, Health-General § 18-904 - last updated December 31, 2021 |

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