Tuesday, September 19, 2006

HIPAA Decision: Findley v. Findley

Out of the State of Louisiana, Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, comes a decision examining the release of medical records in light of Louisiana law and HIPAA.

The decision, Larry L. Findley, Jr. v. Billie Findley , CW 06-266 (Supervisory Writs from the Fourteenth Judicial District Court, Parish of Calcasieu, No 2004-00401), issued by Judge Michale G. Sullivan affirmed the trial court's denial of a motion to quash and denied the writ.

The issues presented to the court were:

1) Does this court have jurisdiction to review Sister Depwe’s refusal to produce her records except as provided in 45 C.F.R. §§ 160 and 164?

The court found that it did have jurisdiction to address the issues presented under HIPAA.

2) Is Sister Depwe’s refusal to produce the records at issue justified by 45 C.F.R. § 164.524?

The court found that HIPAA does not preclude the disclosure of medical information in this case.

3) Does the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA ), 42 U.S.C. 1320a-1320d-8, preempt Louisiana law?

The court found Loisiana law contrary to HIPAA since a health care provider would find it inpossible to comply with Louisiana law and HIPAA, but also finds that Loisiana law is more stringent because it allows an individual patient greater rights of access to his/her medical records.

For more background on the decision read the full opinion. Thanks to Kirk Nahra via the AHLA HIT listserve for alerting me about the decision.

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