(A) A health care provider or the provider’s agent shall provide on the patient information form or by electronic health records, the opportunity for the patient to designate a family member or other individual they choose as a person with whom the provider may discuss the patient’s medical condition and treatment plan.

(B) The authorization provided for in subsection (A):

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 44-66-75

  • Health care: means a procedure to diagnose or treat a human disease, ailment, defect, abnormality, or complaint, whether of physical or mental origin. See South Carolina Code 44-66-20
  • Patient: means an individual sixteen years of age or older who presents or is presented to a health care provider for treatment. See South Carolina Code 44-66-20
  • Person: includes , but is not limited to, an individual, a state agency, or a representative of a state agency. See South Carolina Code 44-66-20
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • provider: means a person, health care facility, organization, or corporation licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by the laws of this State to administer health care. See South Carolina Code 44-66-20
  • Treatment: means the broad range of emergency, outpatient, intermediate, and inpatient services and care that may be extended to a patient to diagnose and treat a human disease, ailment, defect, abnormality, or complaint, whether of physical or mental origin. See South Carolina Code 44-66-20

(1) satisfies the requirements of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, relating to public health, and the privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA);

(2) must present the question in bold print and capitalized, or by electronic means: "DO YOU WANT TO DESIGNATE A FAMILY MEMBER OR OTHER INDIVIDUAL WITH WHOM THE PROVIDER MAY DISCUSS YOUR MEDICAL CONDITION? IF YES, WHOM?"; and

(3) must specify that the patient may revoke or modify an authorization with regard to any family member or other individual designated by the patient in the authorization and that the revocation or modification must be in writing.

(C) A health care provider may disclose information pursuant to an authorization unless the provider has actual knowledge that the authorization has been revoked or modified.

(D) A health care provider who in good faith discloses information in accordance with an authorization signed by a patient pursuant to this section is not subject to civil liability, criminal liability, or disciplinary sanctions because of this disclosure.

(E) Nothing in this section may be construed to:

(1) require a health care provider to disclose information that he otherwise may withhold or limit;

(2) limit or prevent a provider from disclosing information without written authorization from the patient if this disclosure is otherwise lawful or permissible;

(3) prohibit a provider from receiving and using information relevant to the safe and effective treatment of the patient from family members; and

(4) conflict with an individual’s health care power of attorney as provided for in the South Carolina Probate Code.

(F) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, this section does not apply to nursing homes, as defined in Section 44-7-130 or a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental technician licensed or registered in Chapter 15, Title 40.