Q&A: Responding to requests for pediatric records

October 26, 2017
Medicare Web

Q. Our state child support enforcement agency requested the medical records of one of our pediatric patients. Are we allowed to respond to this request without a subpoena? Do we need to obtain the custodial parent’s permission before responding to these types of requests?

A. State law may give the child support agency the legal authority to obtain medical records for a case it is handling. If so, the agency should be able to provide a copy of that law/regulation to you. If not, obtain written authorization from the custodial parent.

Editor’s note: This questions was answered by Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS. Brandt is a healthcare consultant specializing in healthcare regulatory compliance and operations improvement. She is also an advisory board member for Briefings on HIPAA. This information does not constitute legal advice. Consult legal counsel for answers to specific privacy and security questions. Opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent HCPro or ACDIS. Email your HIPAA questions to Editor Nicole Votta at nvotta@hcpro.com.

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Ask the Expert, HIM/HIPAA, HIPAA