Health Information Management

Q&A: HIPAA and attorney requests for records

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 13, 2010

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Q. When an attorney requests records and asks that all records be released, must we comply and send all of the patient’s medical records?

A. If the request was accompanied by the patient’s authorization, review the authorization to determine what information the patient authorized for release. If the patient’s authorization states that “any and all records” may be released, you still must apply minimum necessary criteria. Speak with the attorney to determine which records are needed and release only those records.
 
If a patient’s authorization specifies release of a limited subset of records, you must comply with that authorization, even if the attorney requests more information.
 
If a subpoena seeking “any and all records” accompanies the attorney’s request, you must apply minimum necessary criteria.
 
Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, associate executive director of HIM at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, TX, answered the previous question in the July issue of Briefings on HIPAA.



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