Legal Content Requirements

  • You supervise the release of information (ROI) section in the health information management department of an acute care hospital, which is also a Level II regional trauma center. Today the hospital received a subpoena duces tecum from an attorney, demanding either the originals or copies of all health records on Paul Johnson, who was allegedly a patient of the hospital. The ROI clerk came to you, unsure what to do. The subpoena lacks sufficient information for you to determine whether Mr. Johnson is (or was) a patient in the facility. Also, the subpoena was not accompanied by a valid authorization to release information for Mr. Johnson, as required in your state.
  • How should you respond to the subpoena? Specifically address each of the following your initial response: (1) the steps that you should take, as the supervisor, to take to determine whether Mr. Johnson is or was a patient in the hospital; (2) how the organization should respond to the subpoena; and (3) what regulations apply to this request that could be used as justification in your response.
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