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The University of Texas at Dallas

HIPAA Privacy Manual

Section 32: Judicial and Administrative Proceedings

Definitions:

“Disclosure” means the release, transfer, provision of access to, or divulgence in any other manner, of information to any organization external to UTD.

“Use” means, with respect to individually identifiable health information, the sharing, employment, application, utilization, examination, or analysis of such information within UTD. --A “qualified protective order” restricting the use of PHI, means, with respect to PHI requested under this section, an order of a court or of an administrative tribunal or a stipulation by the parties to the litigation or administrative proceeding that:

  1. Prohibits the parties from using or disclosing the PHI for any purpose other than the litigation or proceeding for which such information was requested; and
  2. Requires the return to UTD or destruction of the PHI (including all copies made) at the end of the litigation or proceeding.

Policy:

As a general rule, UTD personnel may not disseminate PHI without authorization, unless it is requested by the individual to whom the PHI belongs, and a valid authorization has been obtained. However, PHI may be used or disclosed for judicial or administrative proceedings if the use or disclosure is made in response to a court order, administrative tribunal order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process.

Permitted disclosures:

UTD may use or disclose PHI in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding if:

  1. The disclosure is in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal, provided that UTD discloses only the PHI expressly authorized by such order; or
  2. In response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process, that is not accompanied by an order of a court or administrative tribunal (such as a subpoena from the Texas Department of Health), if:
    1. UTD receives satisfactory assurance from the party seeking the information that reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the subject of the requested PHI has been given notice of the request (with an affidavit from the requesting party); or
    2. UTD receives satisfactory assurance from the party seeking the information that reasonable efforts have been made by such party to secure a qualified protective order that meets the requirements of this section (in Definitions above).
  3. UTD receives satisfactory assurances from a party seeking PHI along with a written statement and accompanying documentation demonstrating that:
    1. The party requesting such information has made a good faith attempt to provide written notice to the individual (or, if the individual’s location is unknown, to mail a notice to the individual’s last known address);
    2. The notice included sufficient information about the litigation or proceeding in which the PHI is requested to permit the individual to raise an objection to the court or administrative tribunal; and
    3. The time for the individual to raise objections to the court or administrative tribunal has elapsed, and:
      1. No objections were filed; or
      2. All objections filed by the individual have been resolved by the courts or the administrative tribunal and the disclosures being sought are consistent with such resolution.
  4. UTD receives satisfactory assurances from a party seeking PHI including written statement and accompanying documentation demonstrating that:
      1. The parties to the dispute giving rise to the request for information have agreed to a qualified protective order and have presented it to the court or administrative tribunal with jurisdiction over the dispute; or
      2. The party seeking the PHI has requested a qualified protective order from such court or administrative tribunal.
  5. Notwithstanding this section, UTD has the option to disclose PHI in response to lawful process without receiving full satisfactory assurance, if UTD of its own accord makes reasonable efforts to: provide notice to the individual sufficient to meet the requirements of this section or to seek a qualified protective order.