Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Treatment of the Seriously Mentally Ill

Records To Be Confidential -- Exceptions

53-21-166. Records to be confidential -- exceptions. All information obtained and records prepared in the course of providing any services under this part to individuals under any provision of this part are confidential and privileged matter and must remain confidential and privileged after the individual is discharged from the facility. Except as provided in Title 50, chapter 16, part 5, information and records may be disclosed only:

(1) in communications between qualified professionals in the provision of services or appropriate referrals;

(2) when the recipient of services designates persons to whom information or records may be released or if a recipient of services is a ward and the recipient's guardian or conservator designates in writing persons to whom records or information may be disclosed. However, this section may not be construed to compel a physician, psychologist, social worker, nurse, attorney, or other professional person to reveal information that has been given to the physician, psychologist, social worker, nurse, attorney, or other professional person in confidence by members of a patient's family.

(3) to the extent necessary to make claims on behalf of a recipient of aid, insurance, or medical assistance to which a recipient may be entitled;

(4) for research if the department has promulgated rules for the conduct of research. Rules must include but are not limited to the requirement that all researchers shall sign an oath of confidentiality.

(5) to the courts as necessary for the administration of justice;

(6) to persons authorized by an order of court, after notice and opportunity for hearing to the person to whom the record or information pertains and the custodian of the record or information pursuant to the rules of civil procedure;

(7) to members of the mental disabilities board of visitors or their agents when necessary to perform their functions as set out in 53-21-104;

(8) to the state protection and advocacy program for individuals with mental illness when necessary to comply with 53-21-107(9); and

(9) to the mental health ombudsman when necessary to perform the ombudsman functions as provided in 2-15-210.

History: En. 38-1329 by Sec. 29, Ch. 466, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 38-1329; amd. Sec. 28, Ch. 632, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 579, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 544, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 776, L. 2023.