Are inmate health records public?
Question: I interviewed a jail inmate yesterday who claims that deputies broke his ribs in two places when they arrested him on Dec. 16. He said he complained of the pain daily, but they didn’t x-ray him until Jan. 29. Can I get a copy of the x-rays and any related medical documentation provided the inmate signs off on it?
Answer: I’m sure a request would (appropriately or not) denied with HIPAA as an excuse. The inmate can request those records, of course, and pass them on to the reporter.
I’d argue that AG Open Records Decision 577 (1990), as noted in the AG handbook, would allow a person to request personally identifiable health information maintained by a state agency with the permission of the person named in the record. That would be under 552.023.