Dinsmore Partner Explains Nuances of Hospital Subpoenas
Hospitals and health systems receive many subpoenas demanding information or the appearance of individuals in a legal matter, and it is easy to lose sight of how important it is to respond appropriately. Improperly responding to a subpoena can result in legal difficulties and damage the outcome of the related litigation.
Requests include civil and criminal subpoenas, administrative/regulatory subpoenas, and Civil Investigative Demands under the False Claims Act, explains Matthew S. Arend, JD, partner with the Dinsmore law firm in Cincinnati.
“Those handling the responses should be trained on how to differentiate run-of-the-mill requests from those requesting more sensitive information or those which may require special handling, such as psychiatric or psychotherapy records or substance abuse treatment information covered under 42 CFR Part 2,” Arend says. “Responses should be logged, not only to track receipt and response dates but also to document when and to whom records were provided as required by certain regulations, including HIPAA, which requires organizations to keep an accounting of all disclosures.”
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