50-16-527. Patient authorization -- retention -- effective period -- exception -- communication without prior notice for workers' compensation purposes. (1) A health care provider shall retain each authorization or revocation in conjunction with any health care information from which disclosures are made.
(2) Except for authorizations to provide information to third-party health care payors, an authorization may not permit the release of health care information relating to health care that the patient receives more than 6 months after the authorization was signed.
(3) Health care information disclosed under an authorization is otherwise subject to this part. An authorization becomes invalid after the expiration date contained in the authorization, which may not exceed 30 months. If the authorization does not contain an expiration date, it expires 6 months after it is signed.
(4) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), a signed claim for workers' compensation or occupational disease benefits authorizes disclosure to the workers' compensation insurer, as defined in 39-71-116, or to the agent of a workers' compensation insurer by the health care provider. The disclosure authorized by this subsection authorizes the physician or other health care provider to disclose or release only information relevant to the claimant's condition. Health care information relevant to the claimant's condition may include past history of the complaints of or the treatment of a condition that is similar to that presented in the claim, conditions for which benefits are subsequently claimed, other conditions related to the same body part, or conditions that may affect recovery. A release of information related to workers' compensation must be consistent with the provisions of this subsection. Authorization under this section is effective only as long as the claimant is claiming benefits. This subsection may not be construed to restrict the scope of discovery or disclosure of health care information as allowed under the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure, by the workers' compensation court, or as otherwise provided by law.
(5) A signed claim for workers' compensation or occupational disease benefits or a signed release authorizes a workers' compensation insurer, as defined in 39-71-116, or the agent of the workers' compensation insurer to communicate with a physician or other health care provider about relevant health care information, as authorized in subsection (4), by telephone, letter, electronic communication, in person, or by other means, about a claim and to receive from the physician or health care provider the information authorized in subsection (4) without prior notice to the injured employee, to the employee's authorized representative or agent, or in the case of death, to the employee's personal representative or any person with a right or claim to compensation for the injury or death.