The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 1881. Disclosure of protected health information prohibited
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Covered entity" shall have the same meaning as in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103.
(2) "Protected health information" shall have the same meaning as in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103.
(b) A covered entity shall not disclose protected health information unless the disclosure is permitted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). (Added 2015, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2016.)
§ 1882. Disclosures of protected health information to avert a serious risk of danger
(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly in this section to negate the Vermont Supreme Court's decision in Kuligoski v. Brattleboro Retreat and Northeast Kingdom Human Services, 2016 VT 54A, and limit mental health professionals' duty to that as established in common law by Peck v. Counseling Service of Addison County, Inc., 146 Vt. 61 (1985).
(b) A mental health professional's duty is established in common law by Peck v. Counseling Service of Addison County, Inc. and requires that "a mental health professional who knows or, based upon the standards of the mental health profession, should know that his or her patient poses a serious risk of danger to an identifiable victim has a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect him or her from that danger." This duty shall be applied in accordance with State and federal privacy and confidentiality laws.
(c) This section does not limit or restrict claims under State or federal law related to safe patient care, including federal discharge planning regulations within the Conditions of Participation for hospitals, patient care regulations for other federally certified facilities, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-272, professional licensing standards, or facility licensing standards.
(d) To the extent permitted under federal law, this section does not affect the requirements for mental health professionals to communicate with individuals involved in a patient's care in a manner that is consistent with legal and professional standards, including section 7103 of this title. (Added 2017, No. 51, § 2, eff. May 30, 2017.)