Steps Taken When Releasing Medical Information in the Military

How is public disclosure of medical information like in the military?

Public disclosure of information in the therapy records of persons who have had or received medical, dental, or treatment is personal and privileged in nature. Consequently, it would be an unlawful violation of personal privacy to disclose information to the public. The Freedom of Information Act does not influence or have any power in the disclosure of this information.

However, MTF Commanding Officers may make public or press releases without the patient or patient’s agreement of the next of kin (NOK). This includes the patient’s name, grade, or rates, date of admission or disposition, age, sex, component, base, station or organization, and general condition.

How is medical information disclosed on the individual?

The disclosure to individuals (patients) of health information is subject to the Privacy Act and not the Freedom of Information Act. When people seek information from their health records they should be disclosed unless they prove harmful to their bodily or mental health in the judgment of the releasing authority. In this case, the disclosure agency will ask patients for permission to share their health information with their personal doctor.

How is healthcare information disclosed to the representatives

The health information shall be communicated to their authorized representatives on the written application of patients. If a person is mentally incompetent, crazy, or dead, the NOK or legal representative should provide written permission to release. 

Enough proof of the mentally incompetent or insane declaration or adequate evidence of the death of the member or former member of the legal representative should be shown if the information is not on file. Legal agents should also produce evidence, including a certified copy of the court order, of the appointment.

Federal and State Agencies provided medical information

In the event of demand, only information relating to the application mentioned in the routine uses a portion of the system of medical processing records, which is set forth yearly in SECNAV NOTE 5211, Personal Records Systems authorized for maintaining under the 1974 Privacy Act, 5 U.S. C. 552a shall be disclosed by the Release Authority in respect of the request (PL 93-579).

Agencies may have a valid need for information in the following three instances:

  • The processing of government action involving a person requires health information. In relation to the claims of the medical or dental history, the Veterans Administration and the Compensation Bureau of employees are respectable. If an agency solicits information about healthcare only for work purposes, the individual involved must have written authorization.
  • Health information is needed for the treatment of a person under custody in the department. (The medical or dental history of their patients and prisoners may be necessary at federal and state hospitals and jails.)
  • Release of the courts or administrative bodies of federal or state. The above constraints are not aimed at impeding compliance with the legal health records orders relating to civil or criminal cases, or at preventing the release, as required by law, of information from medical records. If the legitimacy of the record requests is doubted, get guidance from the Judge Advocate General (JAG).

Release of Research Medical Information

Treatment facility codes are permitted to distribute information to their personnel who carry out research projects from therapeutic records housed inside the command. The identities of the interested parties should be removed if feasible. For further direction, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) must be sent more requests from research organizations.


Health and Dental records will be managed by the HM. These documents are important instruments for the provision of healthcare. The HM is extremely important to understand how to set up, handle, preserve and close medical and dental records and to follow these guide actions. Well-kept treatment reports offer current medical and dental information for healthcare professionals, allowing the provider to deliver timely and thorough care to each patient. The patient’s PHI is treated confidentially and is in accordance with legal rules and respects the privacy of the patient.

Author: John

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