Insurance Litigation: Navigating Complex HIPAA Privacy Rules in the Discovery of Key Medical Records

Complying With Federal and State Laws on HIPAA Authorization Forms, Subpoenas, Discovery Requests, and Protective Orders

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will instruct insurance claims counsel on navigating complex Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules and state laws and procedural rules governing the discoverability of protected health information to obtain medical records of individuals, including plaintiffs. From HIPAA authorization forms to subpoenas, discovery requests, and protective orders, the panel will provide insurance claims counsel with the necessary tools to obtain protected health information needed for litigation.


While HIPAA’s goal is to protect the confidentiality of patients’ medical records, the law presents a complex set of obstacles for litigators seeking medical information or records of individuals, especially records of plaintiffs in insurance claims litigation.

HIPAA covered entities cannot disclose protected health information without a written authorization. Under HIPAA’s privacy regulations, a valid authorization must contain specific and detailed statements. Because of these detailed requirements, many providers require counsel use their approved authorization form.

If counsel cannot obtain a signed HIPAA authorization from the individual for whom medical records are sought, counsel can either obtain a court order allowing access to the records or seek the information via subpoena or discovery request. In addition to HIPAA, counsel must navigate state laws and procedural rules governing the discoverability of medical information.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance litigators guides claims counsel through the complex steps to obtain medical or health records of individuals, including plaintiffs, in light of HIPAA privacy regulations and related state laws and procedural rules. The panel will discuss requirements for valid HIPAA authorization forms and other essential discovery tools such as subpoenas, discovery requests, and protective orders.



  1. Impact of HIPAA on obtaining medical records in insurance claims litigation
  2. Overview of HIPAA privacy rules
    1. Elements for valid HIPAA authorization to release information
    2. Monetary costs of receiving medical records from healthcare providers
    3. Practical tips for navigating HIPAA authorizations
  3. Alternative methods for obtaining medical records without an authorization
    1. Subpoena
    2. Discovery requests
    3. Court orders
    4. Protective orders
  4. State laws and procedures governing discoverability of medical records


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What specific requirements and statements do HIPAA privacy rules require for a valid authorization to release an individual’s medical records and information?
  • How can litigation counsel obtain medical records if the individual refuses to execute the appropriate HIPAA authorization for release form?
  • What state laws may also impact counsel’s ability to obtain medical records in litigation?


Sidney J. Hardy
Sidney J. Hardy

McCranie Sistrunk Anzelmo Hardy McDaniel & Welch

Mr. Hardy has served as lead counsel, trying over 70 jury trials to conclusion, in both federal and state courts since...  |  Read More

Michael P. Lowry
Michael P. Lowry

Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger

Mr. Lowry’s practice includes the defense of clients in commercial transportation, product liability, retail and...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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