Legal Issues Surrounding Patient Data While Working With Law Enforcement


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Gain an understanding of when medical documents can be disclosed to law enforcements.
When a nurse at a Utah hospital was arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer for refusing to draw the blood of a traffic accident victim, the resulting video went viral and resulted in widespread praise for the nurse and condemnation (and an eventual firing) of the officer. When a Houston hospital reported a suspected medical identity thief to the local sheriff, the fact that the patient was in the country illegally became the focus of reporting on the matter, and eventually resulted in a 2.4 million HIPAA fine for the hospital. Both of these cases point out the difficulty medical record custodians face when the privacy obligations applicable to medical data collide with the needs of law enforcement.
This topic will outline the rules related to medical record privacy generally, specifically including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its regulations, as well as other related record privacy statutes, and discuss which disclosures are required, which are permitted, and which are prohibited. It will also highlight the specific instances when disclosure to law enforcement officials are required or permitted, and the specific steps that medical record custodians should take to ensure that the rules are followed. Specific law enforcement situations will be highlighted and proper responses (and requests for information) will be provided.

Date: 2018-01-25 at 1:00 PM ET – 2:30 PM ET

Learning Objectives

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