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65-118. Reporting to local health authority as to infectious or contagious diseases; persons reporting; immunity from liability; confidentiality of information; disclosure. (a) Whenever any person licensed to practice the healing arts or engaged in a postgraduate training program approved by the state board of healing arts, licensed dentist, licensed professional nurse, licensed practical nurse[,] administrator of a hospital, licensed adult care home-administrator, licensed physician assistant, licensed social worker, teacher or school administrator knows or has information indicating that a person is suffering from or has died from a reportable infectious or contagious disease as defined in rules and regulations, such knowledge or information shall be reported immediately to the county or joint board of health or the local health officer, together with the name and address of the person who has or is suspected of having the infectious or contagious disease, or the name and former address of the deceased individual who had or was suspected of having such a disease. In the case of a licensed hospital or adult care home, the administrator may designate an individual to receive and make such reports. The secretary of health and environment shall, through rules and regulations, make provision for the consolidation of reports required to be made under this section when the person required to make the report is working in a licensed hospital or adult care home. Laboratories certified under the federal clinical laboratories improvement act pursuant to 42 code of federal regulations, 493 shall report the results of microbiologic cultures, examinations, immunologic essays for the presence of antigens and antibodies and any other laboratory tests which are indicative of the presence of a reportable infectious or contagious disease to the department of health and environment. The director of the division of public health may use information from death certificates for disease investigation purposes.

(b) Any person who is an individual member of a class of persons designated under subsection (a) of this section and who reports the information required to be reported under such subsection in good faith and without malice to a county or joint board of health, a local health officer or the department of health and environment shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed in an action resulting from such report. Any such person shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.

(c) Information required to be reported under subsection (a) of this section shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed or made public, upon subpoena or otherwise, beyond the requirements of subsection (a) of this section or subsection (a) of K.S.A. 65-119, and amendments thereto, except such information may be disclosed: (1) If no person can be identified in the information to be disclosed and the disclosure is for statistical purposes;

(2) if all persons who are identifiable in the information to be disclosed consent in writing to its disclosure;

(3) if the disclosure is necessary, and only to the extent necessary, to protect the public health;

(4) if a medical emergency exists and the disclosure is to medical personnel qualified to treat infectious or contagious diseases. Any information disclosed pursuant to this paragraph shall be disclosed only to the extent necessary to protect the health or life of a named party; or

(5) if the information to be disclosed is required in a court proceeding involving child abuse and the information is disclosed in camera.

History: L. 1901, ch. 285, § 2; R.S. 1923, 65-118; L. 1953, ch. 283, § 1; L. 1976, ch. 262, § 1; L. 1979, ch. 189, § 1; L. 1998, ch. 35, § 1; L. 2000, ch. 162, § 17; L. 2013, ch. 59, § 2; July 1.

Revisor's Note:

Apparently there should be a comma following "licensed practical nurse" and preceding "administration of a hospital" in subsection (a).

Cross References to Related Sections:

Transportation of dead body for disposition where deceased had an infectious or contagious disease, notification of certain persons, see 65-2438.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"AIDS in Kansas," Stephen N. Paige and Robert A. French, 87, No. 3, Kan.Med. 73 (1986).

"AIDS in Kansas," Cindy Wood, M.D., M.P.H., 89, No. 4, Kan.Med. 110 (1988).

"Physicians' Liability for Failure to Report Communicable Diseases," Wayne T. Stratton, 93, No. 10, Kan.Med. 270 (1992).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Physician-patient privileged communication; inmates; physician justified in notifying officials when necessary to protect health of other inmates. 87-139.

Open records act; certain laboratory records not required to be open. 88-88.

Reporting to local health authority as to infectious or contagious disease; physician-patient privilege; confidentiality; disclosure. 92-57.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and hepatitis B; confidentiality of information; disclosure. 95-5.

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