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Wyoming Statutes Title 33. Professions and Occupations § 33-1-115. Professional assistance programs for health care providers and others as specified;  confidentiality of records

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(a) As used in this section:

(i) “Health care provider” means a person who is licensed, certified or otherwise authorized by the law of this state to provide health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession, and for purposes of this section also includes a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or veterinarian;

(ii) “Licensee” means:

(A) Any individual holding a permit or license as a health care provider as a profession or occupation regulated under this title;

(B) Any individual admitted to the Wyoming state bar;  or

(C) Any individual teaching in a public school pursuant to a certificate or permit issued under the laws of this state by the Wyoming professional teaching standards board.

(iii) “Professional assistance program” or “program” means a program or activity relating to mental or behavioral health referral or treatment and to drug or alcohol abuse prevention, referral, treatment or rehabilitation, which is directly or indirectly assisted by a board or commission or other organization established under this title for the regulation of licensees or the Wyoming state bar or the Wyoming professional teaching standards board established under W.S. 21-2-801.

(b) Any information pertaining to the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, referral or treatment of any licensee possessed in connection with the performance of any professional assistance program shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except under the circumstances expressly authorized by subsections (c) and (d) of this section.

(c) The content of any record referred to in subsection (b) of this section may be disclosed in accordance with the prior written consent of the licensee with respect to whom the record is maintained.

(d) Whether or not the licensee gives his written consent, the content of the record may be disclosed as follows:

(i) To medical personnel to the extent necessary to meet a bona fide medical emergency;

(ii) For the purpose of conducting research or program evaluations, provided that the record may not identify any individual in the program;

(iii) As required to report under state law incidents of suspected child abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities;

(iv) If authorized by an appropriate order of a court of competent jurisdiction granted after application showing good cause therefore;

(v) If compelled in an administrative action before a board or commission to enforce its laws, rules, regulations or permit or license requirements, unless the disclosure would violate federal law;  or

(vi) To the state board or commission regulating the licensee, if the diagnosis or prognosis determines a clearly definable mental or behavioral health problem or drug or alcohol abuse problem and the licensee refuses to seek treatment.

(e) A court order under this section may authorize disclosure of confidential information only with notice to the professional assistance program and, after an opportunity for response and an in camera review if necessary, the court finds:

(i) The disclosure is necessary to protect against an existing threat to life or of serious bodily injury;

(ii) The disclosure is necessary in connection with investigation or prosecution of an extremely serious crime such as one which directly threatens loss of life or serious bodily injury;  or

(iii) The disclosure is in connection with litigation or an administrative proceeding in which the patient offers testimony or other evidence pertaining to the content of the confidential communications.

(f) Except as provided in this section, referrals to a professional assistance program shall be absolutely privileged and no lawsuit predicated thereon may be instituted.  The program, its board members, employees and agents shall be immune from suit for conduct within the scope of their functions without malice and in the reasonable belief that their actions were warranted, including conduct and actions performed by the terms of a contract with a state board or commission.

(g) The department of health shall provide assistance to any certifying, permitting or licensure board that desires to establish professional assistance programs as defined under this section.

Cite this article: - Wyoming Statutes Title 33. Professions and Occupations § 33-1-115. Professional assistance programs for health care providers and others as specified;  confidentiality of records - last updated December 01, 2021 |

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