DOH Investigations

Allows the Department of Health to conduct epidemiological
investigations.  (SD1)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION  1.  Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended by adding a new section to Part II to be appropriately
 3 designated and to read as follows:
 4      "321-    Epidemiologic investigations.  (a)  The department
 5 of health may conduct investigations to determine the nature and
 6 extent of diseases and injuries deemed by the department to
 7 threaten the public health.
 8      (b)  Every health care provider and medical facility shall
 9 provide a patient's name, the name of a minor patient's parent or
10 guardian, address, telephone number, age, sex, race or ethnicity,
11 clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory test results, diagnostic
12 interview data, treatment provided, and the disposition of
13 patient upon request by an authorized representative of the
14 director for the purpose of conducting such an investigation.
15 The authorized representative shall view only the limited portion
16 of the patient's medical record that is directly relevant in time
17 and scope to the disease incidence under investigation.
18      (c)  No person, health care provider, or medical facility
19 that provides information under subsection (b) shall be held

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 1 civilly or criminally liable for providing the information to the
 2 department.
 3      (d)  All information provided to the department under
 4 subsection (b) shall be kept strictly confidential, except as the
 5 director determines is necessary to protect the health and safety
 6 of the public.  Access to confidential records shall be
 7 restricted to those individuals specifically authorized to
 8 participate in a specific investigation; provided that
 9 epidemiologic and statistical information with no individual
10 identifying information may be released to the public.  The
11 identities of individuals whose medical records are investigated
12 shall be disclosed only to those persons authorized by the
13 director or the director's representative to conduct a specific
14 investigation, or, if determined by the director to be necessary
15 to protect the health and safety of the public."
16      SECTION 2.  Section 321-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
17 amended to read as follows:
18      "321-1  General powers and duties of the department.(a)
19 The department of health shall have general charge, oversight,
20 and care of the health and lives of the people of the State.
21      (b)  The department may conduct epidemiologic investigations
22 of diseases and injuries that threaten or are deemed by the
23 department to threaten the public health.

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 1      [(b)] (c)  The department shall have authority in matters of
 2 quarantine and other health matters and may declare and enforce
 3 quarantine when none exists and modify or release quarantine when
 4 it is established.
 5      [(c)] (d)  When it is determined that there is imminent
 6 danger of epidemic or serious outbreak of communicable disease,
 7 the department may refuse, modify, or limit attendance at any
 8 school in the State.
 9      [(d)] (e)  When in the judgment of the director, there is
10 deemed to be a potential health hazard, the department, through
11 the director, may take precautionary measures to protect the
12 public through the imposition of an embargo or the detention of
13 products regulated by the department, or the removal of products
14 regulated by the department from the market, or the declaration
15 of quarantine; provided that the director must find evidence of a
16 health hazard within seventy-two hours of the action taken or
17 rescind the action.  The director shall make public the findings.
18      [(e)] (f)  All county health authorities, sheriffs, police
19 officers, and all other officers and employees of the State, and
20 every county thereof, shall enforce the rules of the department.
21 All such powers in health matters as have been or may be
22 conferred upon any county shall be concurrent with those of the
23 department.

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 1      [(f)] (g)  The department may establish charges and collect
 2 fees for any of its services; provided that the department shall
 3 not refuse to provide services to any person due to the person's
 4 inability to pay the fee for the service.  The department,
 5 through the director, shall make an annual report to the
 6 governor, showing in detail all its expenditures and
 7 transactions, and such other information regarding the public
 8 health as the department may deem of special interest.
 9      [(g)] (h)  The department, during the prevalence of any
10 severe pestilence or epidemic, shall publish a weekly report of
11 the public health.
12      [(h)] (i)  The department shall establish and administer
13 programs, and adopt rules as deemed necessary, for the prevention
14 of domestic and sexual violence and the protection and treatment
15 of victims of domestic and sexual violence."
16      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
17 New statutory material is underscored.
18      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.