Mid-Atlantic Health Law TOPICS

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New 2024 Maryland Health Care Laws

The Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 legislative session concluded with the enactment of many health care laws that will impact health care facilities, providers, insurers, and health care related licensees in the State. Here are some of the highlights from the 2024 session.

Consumer Health Data Privacy 

The Maryland Online Data Privacy Act of 2024 regulates the processing of personal data, including consumer health data, by controllers and processors. A “controller” is a person that, alone or jointly with others, determines the purpose and means of processing personal data, while a “processor” is a person that processes personal data on behalf of a controller. 

The law establishes the rights of consumers regarding their personal health data, including the right to access, make corrections, and opt out of certain data processing activities. 

The bill sets strict guidelines for handling consumer health data. It prohibits the sale of consumer health data without consent and restricts access to such data, ensuring that only individuals with a duty of confidentiality or employment conditions requiring confidentiality can access it. 

The bill also forbids the use of geofence technology to track or collect data related to consumer health within a certain proximity of mental health or reproductive/sexual health facilities. 
Violations of these provisions are considered unfair, abusive, or deceptive trade practices under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act.

Medical Record Retention 

Newly enacted legislation extends the period during which a health care provider is prohibited from destroying medical records, laboratory, and X-ray reports, altering the circumstances under which these records can be destroyed. Specifically, it increases the retention period from five to seven years for adult patients and until a minor patient reaches the age of majority plus seven years, unless written authorization is provided by the patient or guardian. Any requests to destroy medical records must meet certain criteria and notices regarding the destruction of medical records must be sent via email. 

Prescription Drug Affordability 

340B drug manufacturers are prohibited from taking any actions to hinder the acquisition or delivery of 340B drugs. The law prohibits discrimination in the acquisition or delivery of these drugs, whether from manufacturers, distributors, or their agents. It also states that violations of the Act will be considered unfair, abusive or deceptive under the Consumer Protection Act. In addition to these measures, the new law mandates the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board to study the implementation and impact of the 340B Program in the State. The Act is effective July 1, 2024.

Private Equity Physician Consolidations 

A new law directs the Maryland Health Care Commission to conduct a study examining the influence of private equity firms and hospital consolidations on the health care market, with a focus on health disparities and the Total Cost of Care Model.

Access to Health Care 

The Access to Care Act, effective October 1, 2024, establishes a Qualified Resident Enrollment Program that aims to facilitate the enrollment of qualified residents, including minors and individuals regardless of immigration status, in qualified health plans through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. The bill outlines the criteria for qualified residents, the funding sources for the program, and the conditions under which the program will operate. It also specifies that the program’s implementation is contingent upon the approval of a waiver application amendment under the Affordable Care Act.

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living 

The rights of residents in health care facilities are protected under new legislation that empowers the Attorney General to seek injunctive relief for violations of residents’ rights. The new law mandates the inclusion of specific rights for assisted living program residents in a “resident bill of rights” that must be established. Civil penalties not to exceed $10,000 may be imposed for violations. This new law, effective July 1, 2024, also prohibits the Attorney General from duplicating corrective actions already undertaken by the Maryland Department of Health.

Beginning October 1, 2024, nursing home facilities will be required to submit acquisition requests to the Maryland Health Care Commission 60 days in advance of the closing date. Specific notice requirements for residents, representatives, and employees will also be required. The Maryland Health Care Commission is granted authority to approve or deny acquisition requests, with provisions for judicial review.

Maternal and Infant Care 

There are new laws that aim to improve maternal and infant patient care and safety. The Safe Sleep Act of 2024 (Act) mandates hospitals to provide resources and information about safe sleep environments to parents and guardians of infants before discharge, necessitating the establishment of new processes for compliance with the Act. 

The Giving Infants a Future Without Transmission (GIFT) Act modifies reporting and testing requirements for HIV and syphilis in hospitals for pregnant women and newborns. Documents related to these reports are not discoverable or admissible as evidence in any action. 

The Maryland Maternal Health Act of 2024 imposes requirements on hospitals regarding maternal health assessments and reporting including prenatal risk assessment forms and postpartum infant and maternal referral forms. Hospitals and freestanding birthing centers are now required to participate in the Severe Maternal Morbidity Surveillance Program to identify causes and risk factors for severe maternal morbidity.

Barry F. Rosen
410-576-4224 • brosen@gfrlaw.com

A version of this article was published by The Daily Record on June 27, 2024.



June 12, 2024




Rosen, Barry F.


Health Care