Subpoena of Protected Health Information: How to Respond

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Assume that a provider is a plaintiff, defendant, or witness in a civil lawsuit. Assume that the provider receives a subpoena from a party to the lawsuit…and assume that the subpoena asks for a patient’s file. How should the provider respond? First, it should be noted that the subpoena is not a court order; rather, it is a request by an attorney for the patient files.

The provider is a “covered entity” under HIPAA. Patient files constitute “protected health information” (or “PHI”). A covered entity can disclose PHI only if certain conditions are met. And so the question becomes: How should the provider respond to the subpoena?

Read the full story from Medtrade.

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