Recent White Paper addresses HIPAA and Michigan State Law Considerations When Responding to Subpoenas and Warrants for Protected Health Information

Health care providers are often faced with questions regarding the appropriate response to a subpoena or warrant requesting patient medical records. Given that most health care providers and the businesses that support them qualify as either “covered entities” or “business associates” subject to HIPAA, attorneys advising healthcare clients must take both HIPAA and state privacy laws into account when addressing the legal considerations for responding to requests for protected health information (PHI).

Together with attorney Julie Markgraf of the North Ottawa Community Health System, our firm recently co-authored “The Ins and Outs of Responding to Subpoenas and Warrants for Protected Health Information In Michigan” for the Health Care Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan addressing the legal considerations necessary for appropriately responding to requests for patient information. The paper addresses the Michigan Court Rules and Michigan law as they relate to disclosures of PHI and also examines the limitations placed on disclosure by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Taking these authorities together, the white paper discusses the interplay of HIPAA and Michigan law in light of HIPAA preemption, Michigan’s statutory physician-patient privilege, and recent case law. The paper aims to provide a preliminary research tool for attorneys dealing with subpoenas or warrants requesting patient information in Michigan.

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