CHAPTER 369*

HEALING ARTS

*Cited. 207 C. 674; 242 C. 1.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-1. Healing arts defined.

Secs. 20-2 to 20-7. Examining boards, generally.

Sec. 20-7a. Billing for clinical laboratory services. Cost of diagnostic tests. Financial disclosures to patients. Billing practices re anatomic pathology services.

Sec. 20-7b. Definitions.

Sec. 20-7c. Access to medical records. Notification to patient of certain test results. Authority of provider to withhold information.

Sec. 20-7d. Release of patient’s medical records to another provider.

Sec. 20-7e. Medical records maintained by agencies.

Sec. 20-7f. Unfair billing practices.

Sec. 20-7g. Billing practices re diagnostic imaging services.

Sec. 20-7h. Disclosure by physician and physical therapist re services provided based on letter of protection and cost of providing opinion letter.


Sec. 20-1. Healing arts defined. The practice of the healing arts means the practice of medicine, chiropractic, podiatry, natureopathy and, except as used in chapters 384a and 388, the practice of optometry.

(1949 Rev., S. 4352; P.A. 80-484, S. 168, 176; P.A. 81-471, S. 4, 71; P.A. 94-202; P.A. 99-102, S. 1; P.A. 00-226, S. 10, 20.)

History: P.A. 80-484 substituted “means” for “shall be understood to be”; P.A. 81-471 added podiatry to professions included within the term “healing arts” as of July 1, 1981; P.A. 94-202 conditionally included optometry as a healing art; P.A. 99-102 deleted obsolete reference to osteopathy; P.A. 00-226 deleted reference to Secs. 19a-16a to 19a-16c, inclusive, effective the later of October 1, 2000, or the date notice is published by the Commissioner of Public Health in the Connecticut Law Journal indicating that the licensing of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants is being implemented by the commissioner, i.e. April 11, 2006.

Cited. 15 CS 468.

Secs. 20-2 to 20-7. Examining boards, generally. Sections 20-2 to 20-7, inclusive, are repealed.

(1949, Rev., S. 4351, 4353–4356; 1949, S. 2186d; 1955, S. 2187d; 1957, P.A. 197; September, 1957, P.A. 11, S. 13; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 54; P.A. 73-616, S. 19; P.A. 75-268, S. 5.)

Sec. 20-7a. Billing for clinical laboratory services. Cost of diagnostic tests. Financial disclosures to patients. Billing practices re anatomic pathology services. (a) Any practitioner of the healing arts who agrees with any clinical laboratory, either private or hospital, to make payments to such laboratory for individual tests or test series for patients shall disclose on the bills to patients or third party payors the name of such laboratory, the amount or amounts charged by such laboratory for individual tests or test series and the amount of his procurement or processing charge, if any, for each test or test series. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.

(b) Each practitioner of the healing arts who recommends a test to aid in the diagnosis of a patient’s physical condition shall, to the extent the practitioner is reasonably able, inform the patient of the approximate range of costs of such test.

(c) Each practitioner of the healing arts who (1) has an ownership or investment interest in an entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services, or (2) receives compensation or remuneration for referral of patients to an entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services shall disclose such interest to any patient prior to referring such patient to such entity for diagnostic or therapeutic services and provide reasonable referral alternatives. Such information shall be verbally disclosed to each patient or shall be posted in a conspicuous place visible to patients in the practitioner’s office. The posted information shall list the therapeutic and diagnostic services in which the practitioner has an ownership or investment interest and therapeutic and diagnostic services from which the practitioner receives compensation or remuneration for referrals and state that alternate referrals will be made upon request. Therapeutic services include physical therapy, radiation therapy, intravenous therapy and rehabilitation services including physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech and language pathology, or any combination of such therapeutic services. This subsection shall not apply to in-office ancillary services. As used in this subsection, “ownership or investment interest” does not include ownership of investment securities that are purchased by the practitioner on terms available to the general public and are publicly traded; and “entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services” includes services provided by an entity that is within a hospital but is not owned by the hospital. Violation of this subsection constitutes conduct subject to disciplinary action under subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 19a-17.

(d) No person or entity, other than a physician licensed under chapter 370, a clinical laboratory, as defined in section 19a-30, or a referring clinical laboratory, shall directly or indirectly charge, bill or otherwise solicit payment for the provision of anatomic pathology services, unless such services were personally rendered by or under the direct supervision of such physician, clinical laboratory or referring laboratory in accordance with section 353 of the Public Health Service Act, (42 USC 263a). A clinical laboratory or referring laboratory may only solicit payment for anatomic pathology services from the patient, a hospital, the responsible insurer of a third party payor, or a governmental agency or such agency’s public or private agent that is acting on behalf of the recipient of such services. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a clinical laboratory from billing a referring clinical laboratory when specimens are transferred between such laboratories for histologic or cytologic processing or consultation. No patient or other third party payor, as described in this subsection, shall be required to reimburse any provider for charges or claims submitted in violation of this section. For purposes of this subsection, (1) “referring clinical laboratory” means a clinical laboratory that refers a patient specimen for consultation or anatomic pathology services, excluding the laboratory of a physician’s office or group practice that takes a patient specimen and does not perform the professional diagnostic component of the anatomic pathology services involved, and (2) “anatomic pathology services” means the gross and microscopic examination and histologic or cytologic processing of human specimens, including histopathology or surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematology, subcellular pathology or molecular pathology or blood banking service performed by a pathologist.

(P.A. 73-159; P.A. 91-168; P.A. 92-24; P.A. 05-272, S. 18; P.A. 06-196, S. 246; P.A. 09-232, S. 72; P.A. 10-18, S. 19.)

History: P.A. 91-168 added a new Subsec. (b) to require practitioners to inform patients regarding the costs of diagnostic tests ordered, and added a new Subsec. (c) to require practitioners to make disclosures of financial interests in diagnostic imaging equipment to patients; P.A. 92-24 amended Subsec. (c) to change disclosure requirements from diagnostic imaging equipment to diagnostic or therapeutic services or compensation or remuneration for referrals of such services, to explain verbal and posted disclosure requirements, to add definition of entity which provides diagnostic or therapeutic services, and to make violation of Subsec. subject to disciplinary action; P.A. 05-272 amended Subsec. (c) by making technical changes and replacing “speech pathology” with “speech and language pathology”; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subsec. (c), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 09-232 added Subsec. (d) re billing practices for anatomic pathology services, effective July 1, 2009; P.A. 10-18 made a technical change in Subsec. (d).

Sec. 20-7b. Definitions. For purposes of sections 20-7b to 20-7e, inclusive:

(a) “Patient” means a natural person who has received health care services from a provider for treatment of a medical condition, or a person he designates in writing as his representative; and

(b) “Provider” means any person or organization that furnishes health care services and is licensed or certified to furnish such services pursuant to chapters 370 to 373, inclusive, 375 to 384a, inclusive, 388, 398 and 399 or is licensed or certified pursuant to chapter 368d.

(P.A. 83-413, S. 1; P.A. 86-43, S. 1; P.A. 91-137, S. 1; P.A. 92-78, S. 1, 3; P.A. 93-316, S. 2; P.A. 94-174, S. 5, 12.)

History: P.A. 86-43 included chapter 381 in the chapters cited in Subsec. (b); P.A. 91-137 redefined “provider” to include institutions licensed pursuant to chapter 368v; P.A. 92-78 amended Subsec. (b) to delete changes enacted by public act 91-137; P.A. 93-316 redefined “provider” to include organizations and reference to licensure or certification pursuant to chapter 368d; P.A. 94-174 amended Subsec. (b) to add references to providers who are certified and chapters 383 to 384a, 388, 398 and 399, effective June 6, 1994.

Sec. 20-7c. Access to medical records. Notification to patient of certain test results. Authority of provider to withhold information. (a) For purposes of this section, “clinical laboratory” has the same meaning as provided in section 19a-30. “Clinical laboratory” does not include any state laboratory established by the Department of Public Health pursuant to section 19a-26 or 19a-29.

(b) Except as provided for in subsection (e) of this section, a provider shall (1) supply to a patient upon request complete and current information possessed by that provider concerning any diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the patient, and (2) notify a patient of any test results in the provider’s possession or requested by the provider for the purposes of diagnosis, treatment or prognosis of such patient. In addition, upon the request of a patient or a provider who orders medical tests on behalf of a patient, a clinical laboratory shall provide medical test results relating to the patient to any other provider who is treating the patient for the purposes of diagnosis, treatment or prognosis of such patient.

(c) A provider, who requests that his or her patient submit to repeated medical testing at regular intervals, over a specified period of time, for purposes of ascertaining a diagnosis, prognosis or recommended course of treatment for such patient, may issue a single authorization that allows the entity that conducts such medical testing, including, but not limited to, a clinical laboratory, to directly communicate the results of such testing to the patient for the period of time that such testing is requested by the provider.

(d) Upon a written request of a patient, a patient’s attorney or authorized representative, or pursuant to a written authorization, a provider, except as provided in section 4-194, shall furnish to the person making such request a copy of the patient’s health record, including but not limited to, bills, x-rays and copies of laboratory reports, contact lens specifications based on examinations and final contact lens fittings given within the preceding three months or such longer period of time as determined by the provider but no longer than six months, records of prescriptions and other technical information used in assessing the patient’s health condition. No provider shall refuse to return to a patient original records or copies of records that the patient has brought to the provider from another provider. When returning records to a patient, a provider may retain copies of such records for the provider’s file, provided such provider does not charge the patient for the costs incurred in copying such records. No provider shall charge more than sixty-five cents per page, including any research fees, handling fees or related costs, and the cost of first class postage, if applicable, for furnishing a health record pursuant to this subsection, except such provider may charge a patient the amount necessary to cover the cost of materials for furnishing a copy of an x-ray, provided no such charge shall be made for furnishing a health record or part thereof to a patient, a patient’s attorney or authorized representative if the record or part thereof is necessary for the purpose of supporting a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act and the request is accompanied by documentation of the claim or appeal. A provider shall furnish a health record requested pursuant to this section within thirty days of the request. No health care provider, who has purchased or assumed the practice of a provider who is retiring or deceased, may refuse to return original records or copied records to a patient who decides not to seek care from the successor provider. When returning records to a patient who has decided not to seek care from a successor provider, such provider may not charge a patient for costs incurred in copying the records of the retired or deceased provider.

(e) If a provider reasonably determines that the information is detrimental to the physical or mental health of the patient, or is likely to cause the patient to harm himself, herself or another, the provider may withhold the information from the patient. The information may be supplied to an appropriate third party or to another provider who may release the information to the patient. If disclosure of information is refused by a provider under this subsection, any person aggrieved thereby may, within thirty days of such refusal, petition the superior court for the judicial district in which such person resides for an order requiring the provider to disclose the information. Such a proceeding shall be privileged with respect to assignment for trial. The court, after hearing and an in camera review of the information in question, shall issue the order requested unless it determines that such disclosure would be detrimental to the physical or mental health of the person or is likely to cause the person to harm himself, herself or another.

(f) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any information relative to any psychiatric or psychological problems or conditions.

(g) In the event that a provider abandons his or her practice, the Commissioner of Public Health may appoint a licensed health care provider to be the keeper of the records, who shall be responsible for disbursing the original records to the provider’s patients, upon the request of any such patient.

(h) The Commissioner of Public Health shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this section.

(P.A. 83-413, S. 2; P.A. 86-43, S. 2; P.A. 91-137, S. 2; P.A. 93-316, S. 3; P.A. 94-158, S. 2; P.A. 95-100; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2, S. 44; P.A. 04-165, S. 1; P.A. 08-184, S. 32; P.A. 10-117, S. 5; P.A. 11-76, S. 1; 11-242, S. 79.)

History: P.A. 86-43 amended Subsec. (b) to limit the cost to the patient for a copy of a health record; P.A. 91-137 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that no charge be made for furnishing a health record to a patient for the purpose of supporting a claim under the Social Security Act and to require that a requested record be furnished within 30 days of the request; P.A. 93-316 amended Subsec. (b) by requiring provider to furnish copy of patient’s health record upon written request of patient’s attorney or authorized representative or upon written authorization, added “bills” as part of record and increased maximum charge per page from $0.25 to $0.45 per page, provided provider may charge cost necessary for furnishing copy of x-ray; P.A. 94-158 amended Subsec. (b) to specify that the maximum per page charge allowed for furnishing a health record includes any research fees, handling fees or related costs; P.A. 95-100 amended Subsec. (b) to add the provision on contact lenses and to limit access to prescriptions to “records of” prescriptions; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2 amended Subsec. (a) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1) and adding Subdiv. (2) re notification of certain test results; P.A. 04-165 defined “provider” in new Subsec. (a), redesignated existing Subsecs. (a) to (d) as new Subsecs. (b) to (e), respectively, amended new Subsec. (b) to make a technical change and, in Subdiv. (2), to delete provision re indication of need for further treatment or diagnosis and add requirement of notification to patient of test results requested by provider, deleted reference to Sec. 20-7b in new Subsec. (d) and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 08-184 amended Subsec. (c) by substituting “sixty-five” for “forty-five” cents re maximum per page fee that provider may charge for providing health record copies on patient’s behalf; P.A. 10-117 amended Subsec. (c) by prohibiting provider from refusing to return original records or copies of records that patient brought from another provider, by prohibiting provider who purchased or assumed practice from refusing to return original records or copies of records when patient decides not to seek care from such provider and by permitting such providers to retain copies of such records provided patient is not charged for copying costs and added Subsec. (f) re appointment of licensed health care provider to be keeper of records for provider who has abandoned his or her practice; P.A. 11-76 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing definition of “provider” with definition of “clinical laboratory”, amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re clinical laboratory’s ability to share medical test results with patient’s treating providers and by making technical changes, added new Subsec. (c) re provider’s ability to authorize entity that conducts repeated medical testing of a patient to directly communicate results of such testing to the patient, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (f) as Subsecs. (d) to (g), amended Subsec. (e) by making technical changes and added Subsec. (h) re regulations; P.A. 11-242 made identical changes as P.A. 11-76.

See Sec. 19a-490b re access to health records maintained by health care institution.

Sec. 20-7d. Release of patient’s medical records to another provider. A copy of the patient’s health record, including but not limited to, x-rays and copies of laboratory reports, prescriptions and other technical information used in assessing the patient’s condition shall be furnished to another provider upon the written request of the patient. The written request shall specify the name of the provider to whom the health record is to be furnished. The patient shall be responsible for the reasonable costs of furnishing the information.

(P.A. 83-413, S. 3.)

Sec. 20-7e. Medical records maintained by agencies. The provisions of sections 20-7b to 20-7d, inclusive, shall not apply to medical records maintained by any agency as defined in section 4-190.

(P.A. 83-413, S. 4.)

Sec. 20-7f. Unfair billing practices. (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Request payment” includes, but is not limited to, submitting a bill for services not actually owed or submitting for such services an invoice or other communication detailing the cost of the services that is not clearly marked with the phrase “This is not a bill”.

(2) “Health care provider” means a person licensed to provide health care services under chapters 370 to 373, inclusive, chapters 375 to 383b, inclusive, chapters 384a to 384c, inclusive, or chapter 400j.

(3) “Enrollee” means a person who has contracted for or who participates in a managed care plan for himself or his eligible dependents.

(4) “Managed care organization” means an insurer, health care center, hospital or medical service corporation or other organization delivering, issuing for delivery, renewing or amending any individual or group health managed care plan in this state.

(5) “Copayment or deductible” means the portion of a charge for services covered by a managed care plan that, under the plan’s terms, it is the obligation of the enrollee to pay.

(b) It shall be an unfair trade practice in violation of chapter 735a for any health care provider to request payment from an enrollee, other than a copayment or deductible, for medical services covered under a managed care plan.

(c) It shall be an unfair trade practice in violation of chapter 735a for any health care provider to report to a credit reporting agency an enrollee’s failure to pay a bill for medical services when a managed care organization has primary responsibility for payment of such services.

(P.A. 98-163, S. 1.)

History: (Revisor’s note: In 2003, a reference in Subsec. (a)(2) to “chapters 370 to 373, inclusive” was erroneously changed editorially by the Revisors to “this chapter, chapters 371 to 373, inclusive”; in 2013, the Revisors restored the original reference in Subsec. (a)(2) to “chapters 370 to 373, inclusive”, as enacted in P.A. 98-163, S. 1, in order to correct their 2003 editorial error).

Sec. 20-7g. Billing practices re diagnostic imaging services. (a) A practitioner of the healing arts, as defined in section 20-1, shall not charge, bill or otherwise solicit payment from any patient, client, customer or responsible third-party payor for performance of the technical component of computerized axial tomography, positron emission tomography or magnetic resonance imaging diagnostic imaging services if such services were not actually rendered by such practitioner of the healing arts or a person under his or her direct supervision. For purposes of this section, “responsible third-party payor” means any person or entity who is responsible for payment of computerized axial tomography, positron emission tomography or magnetic resonance imaging diagnostic imaging services provided to a patient.

(b) Radiological facilities or imaging centers performing the technical component of computerized axial tomography, positron emission tomography or magnetic resonance imaging diagnostic imaging services shall directly bill either the patient or the responsible third-party payor for such services. Radiological facilities or imaging centers shall not bill a practitioner of the healing arts who requests such services.

(P.A. 09-206, S. 3.)

Sec. 20-7h. Disclosure by physician and physical therapist re services provided based on letter of protection and cost of providing opinion letter. Any physician licensed under chapter 370 and any physical therapist licensed under chapter 376 shall, during the consultation period with a patient who has suffered a personal injury and prior to any treatment of such patient, disclose to such patient in writing: (1) Whether such physician or physical therapist would provide services to such patient on the basis of a letter of protection issued by an attorney representing the patient in a personal injury action, which letter promises that any bill for services rendered by such physician or physical therapist to such patient will be paid from the proceeds of any recovery the patient receives from a settlement or judgment in such action or, if there is no recovery or the recovery is insufficient to pay such bill, that such bill will be paid by such patient; and (2) the estimated cost of providing to the patient or an attorney representing the patient in a personal injury action an opinion letter concerning the cause of the personal injury and the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the patient, including a disability rating.

(P.A. 12-14, S. 1.)