Risk Management & Internal Control

Confidentiality Exceptions

Under California law, any health practitioner employed in a health facility, clinic, physician’s office, or local or state public health department or clinic is required to make a report to local law enforcement if he or she provides medical services for a physical condition to a patient/victim who he or she knows or reasonably suspects is suffering from (1) a wound or physical injury inflicted by a firearm; or (2) any wound or other physical injury inflicted upon a victim where the injury is the result of assaultive or abusive conduct (including Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, and Dating Violence). This exception does not apply to sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates. Health care practitioners should explain this limited exception to victims, if applicable.

Additionally, under California law, all professionals described above (physicians, psychotherapists, professional counselors, clergy, and sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates) are mandatory child abuse and neglect reporters, and are required to report incidents involving victims under 18 years of age to local law enforcement. These professionals will explain this limited exception to victims, if applicable.

Finally, some or all of these professionals may also have reporting obligations under California law to (1) local law enforcement in cases involving threats of immediate or imminent harm to self or others where disclosure of the information is necessary to prevent the threatened danger; or (2) to the court if compelled by court order or subpoena in a criminal proceeding related to the Sexual Violence incident. If applicable, these professionals will explain this limited exception to victims.

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