Corporate Compliance

Crime and disclosure

Compliance Monitor, June 3, 2005

Q: What is involved in disclosing information to report a crime in an emergency?

A: A covered healthcare provider offering services in response to a medical emergency, other than an emergency that takes place on that provider's premises, may disclose PHI to a law enforcement official if it appears necessary to alert law enforcement to

  • the commission and nature of a crime
  • the location of such crime or of the victim(s) of such crime
  • the identity, description, and location of the perpetrator of such crime

If the provider believes that the medical emergency is the result of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence of the individual in need of emergency healthcare, the applicable rules for disclosing information about abuse, neglect, or domestic violence apply.

For more information see Section 164.512(f) "Disclosures for Law Enforcement Purposes" and Section 164.512(c) "Disclosures About Victims of Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence" on the Bricker & Eckler Web site.

Editor's note: Attorneys from Bricker & Eckler LLP answered this question. This is not legal advice. Consult your attorney for legal matters.

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