MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR ORDER FOR MEDICAL RECORDS
KENNETH G. GALE, Magistrate Judge.
Defendant Lifepoint Hospital dba Western Plains Medical Complex (herein "Defendant" or "Western Plains") has moved for the Court to enter orders "authorizing the inspection and reproduction of plaintiffs' medical records and permitting ex parte interviews with plaintiffs' treating health care providers." (Doc. 39.) For the reasons set forth herein, the motion is
This is a medical malpractice case in which it is undisputed that the medical conditions of Plaintiff and her minor daughter (on behalf of whom she is suing) are at issue. Plaintiff objects to the motion, however, as to Defendant's requested authorization to speak to the health care providers outside the presence of Plaintiff's counsel. (See generally Doc. 41.)
Defendant's request implicates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("the Act" or "HIPAA"). The Act prohibits the unauthorized disclosure or misuse of protected health information by entities its covers. "HIPAA, however, does not prohibit all disclosures; rather, it imposes procedures on health care providers concerning the disclosure of medical information."
The Act specifically provides for the disclosure of protected health information in judicial proceedings in following instances:
45 C.F.R. § 164.512(e). Thus, the Act clearly provides two separate methods for obtaining protected health information without risking the violation of its terms: (1) by court order authorizing such disclosure or (2) via formal discovery request, such as a subpoena, "when accompanied by certain required assurances and notices."
The Court acknowledges that HIPAA does not expressly provide for ex parte interviews of health care providers. It does not, however, expressly prohibit the practice, either. Further, issuing orders which allow for ex parte interviews of health care providers is a well-established practice in this district. Id. (citing
Plaintiff recognizes that Courts in this District routinely grant these motions. (Doc. 41, at 1.) Plaintiff, however, "presents . . . arguments and authorities to preserve this issue for appeal and to discuss a movement in Kansas state courts denying similar motions . . . ." (Id.) While the Court acknowledges Plaintiff's arguments and cited state court authorities, the overwhelming balance of authority in this District allows for the type of order and interviews Defendant requests. As such, Defendant's motion is