• Revenue Cycle Management
  • COVID-19
  • Reimbursement
  • Diabetes Awareness Month
  • Risk Management
  • Patient Retention
  • Staffing
  • Medical Economics® 100th Anniversary
  • Coding and documentation
  • Business of Endocrinology
  • Telehealth
  • Physicians Financial News
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Locum Tenens, brought to you by LocumLife®
  • Weight Management
  • Business of Women's Health
  • Practice Efficiency
  • Finance and Wealth
  • EHRs
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Sponsored Webinars
  • Medical Technology
  • Billing and collections
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Exclusive Content
  • Value-based Care
  • Business of Pediatrics
  • Concierge Medicine 2.0 by Castle Connolly Private Health Partners
  • Practice Growth
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Business of Cardiology
  • Implementing the Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Malpractice
  • Influenza
  • Sexual Health
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Technology
  • Legal and Policy
  • Money
  • Opinion
  • Vaccines
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Relations
  • Careers

Disclosing protected health information in court

Article

Does HIPAA prevent me from discussing a patient's treatment during the course of a small-claims suit? I'd like to sue a patient who refuses to pay me, but other people will probably be present in the small-claims courtroom for their own cases.

Q: Does HIPAA prevent me from discussing a patient's treatment during the course of a small-claims suit? I'd like to sue a patient who refuses to pay me, but other people will probably be present in the small-claims courtroom for their own cases.

A: No, you can bring your case to small claims court, even though there will be other people there who might hear what goes on. Under HIPAA, a covered entity may use or disclose protected health information during a legal proceeding. That means you may divulge such information as a plaintiff in a suit to obtain payment.

However, HIPAA also requires that you make a reasonable effort to limit your disclosure to the minimum necessary to accomplish your purpose. So don't bring up any treatment details that don't directly relate to the issue of your getting paid.

It may be a good idea for you or your attorney to call the court clerk beforehand to advise him if your case involves a sensitive medical issue. It's possible the judge may agree to hear your case in the privacy of his chambers.

It's also important to have your attorney check the privacy requirements under state law, as well.


Related Videos
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health