(a) (1) A person who violates subdivision (a) of Section 632 shall be punished pursuant to subdivision (b) if the person intentionally discloses or distributes, in any manner, in any forum, including, but not limited to, Internet Web sites and social media, or for any purpose, the contents of a confidential communication with a health care provider that is obtained by that person in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 632. For purposes of this subdivision, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos or still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, to aid and abet a violation of paragraph (1), for the purposes of Section 31, the person shall either violate, or aid and abet in a violation of, both Section 632 and paragraph (1).
(b) A violation of subdivision (a) shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation, or imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section, the person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation, by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(c) For purposes of this section, “health care provider” means any of the following:
(1) A person licensed or certified pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code.
(2) A person licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act or the Chiropractic Initiative Act.
(3) A person certified pursuant to Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) A clinic, health dispensary, or health facility licensed or exempt from licensure pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) An employee, volunteer, or contracted agent of any group practice prepayment health care service plan regulated pursuant to the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code).
(6) An employee, volunteer, independent contractor, or professional student of a clinic, health dispensary, or health care facility or health care provider described in this subdivision.
(7) A professional organization that represents any of the other health care providers described in this subdivision.
(d) (1) Subdivision (a) does not apply to the disclosure or distribution of a confidential communication pursuant to any of the following:
(A) Any party as described in Section 633 acting within the scope of his or her authority overhearing or recording a confidential communication that he or she may lawfully overhear or record pursuant to that section.
(B) Any party as described in Section 633.02 overhearing or recording a confidential communication related to sexual assault or other sexual offense that he or she may lawfully overhear or record pursuant to that section, or using or operating a body-worn camera as authorized pursuant to that section.
(C) A city attorney as described in Section 633.05 overhearing or recording any communication that he or she may lawfully overhear or record pursuant to that section.
(D) An airport law enforcement officer recording a communication received on an incoming telephone line pursuant to Section 633.1.
(E) A party to a confidential communication recording the communication for the purpose of obtaining evidence reasonably believed to relate to the commission by another party to the communication of a crime as specified in Section 633.5.
(F) A victim of domestic violence recording a prohibited communication made to him or her by the perpetrator pursuant to Section 633.6.
(G) A peace officer using electronic amplifying or recording devices to eavesdrop on and record the otherwise confidential oral communications of individuals within a location when responding to an emergency situation that involves the taking of a hostage or the barricading of a location pursuant to Section 633.8.
(2) This section does not affect the admissibility of any evidence that would otherwise be admissible pursuant to the authority of any section specified in paragraph (1).
(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 855, Sec. 2. (AB 1671) Effective January 1, 2017.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018