Quick Reference Guide

Guide to Release of Patient Information to the Media

A guide for hospital public relations professionals and the news media
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This invaluable handbook helps you quickly understand what information can and cannot be released to the news media under the law.

Releasing information on the condition of hospital patients requires a careful balancing of patient privacy with the media’s desire for information. California law has protected individual privacy for some time. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) adds federal protection to patient privacy rights.The HIPAA privacy regulations strictly limit what patient information hospitals may share with the news media.

This quick-reference guide details what information can be released under specific situations and for different patient types including minors, public figures and celebrities. The guide also covers when information should not be released, matters of public record and how to respond in disaster situations.

Be ready to respond with this handy guide at your fingertips.


  • Release of Patient Information to the News Media
  • Notification of Patient
  • Standard Terms to Use for Patient Conditions
  • When Patient Information Should Not be Released to the Media
  • Matters of Public Record
  • Disaster Situations
  • HIPAA Waiver