Health Information Management

Responding to subpoenas

Briefings on HIPAA, April 1, 2016

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Subpoenas are a sometimes-unwelcome fact of life for privacy officers. They can be complicated, requesting broad amounts of information that is time-consuming to gather. They can be written in dense legal language that takes time and finesse to decipher. If a subpoena requests PHI, it can also raise privacy concerns and questions about how to honor the subpoena while releasing only the necessary information. Some subpoenas may request information that an organization considers sensitive for other reasons. It can be all too easy to put off dealing with a subpoena until the last minute, then rushing to react without taking the time to really read and understand what it says.

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