Businesses and Professions

CHAPTER 5-37.3
Confidentiality of Health Care Communications and Information Act

SECTION 5-37.3-6.1

§ 5-37.3-6.1. Court proceedings – Confidential healthcare information.

(a) Except as provided in § 5-37.3-6, a healthcare provider or custodian of healthcare information may disclose confidential healthcare information in a judicial proceeding if the disclosure is pursuant to a subpoena and the provider or custodian is provided written certification by the party issuing the subpoena that:

(1) A copy of the subpoena has been served by the party on the individual whose records are being sought on or before the date the subpoena was served, together with a notice of the individual's right to challenge the subpoena; or, if the individual cannot be located within this jurisdiction, that an affidavit of that fact is provided; and

(2) Twenty (20) days have passed from the date of service on the individual and within that time period the individual has not initiated a challenge; or

(3) Disclosure is ordered by a court after challenge.

(b) Within twenty (20) days after the date of service of a subpoena, an individual or his or her authorized representative may file a motion to quash the subpoena in the court in which the case is pending or, if no case is pending, in superior court. A copy of the motion to quash shall be served by the movant upon the party issuing the subpoena in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.

(c) The party issuing the subpoena may file with the court such papers, including affidavits and other sworn documents, as sustain the validity of the subpoena. The movant may file with the court reply papers in response to the issuing party's filing. The court, upon receipt of these papers, may proceed in camera. The court may conduct any proceedings as it deems appropriate to rule on the motion, but shall endeavor to expedite its determination.

(d) The court shall grant a motion to quash unless the requesting party can demonstrate that there is reasonable ground to believe the information being sought is relevant to the proceedings, and the need for the information clearly outweighs the privacy interest of the individual.

(e) In determining whether the need for information clearly outweighs the privacy of the individual, the court shall consider:

(1) The particular purpose for which the information was collected;

(2) The individual's reasonable expectation of privacy in the information;

(3) The degree to which disclosure of the information would embarrass, injure, or invade the privacy of the individual;

(4) The effect of the disclosure on the individual's future health care;

(5) The importance of the information to the lawsuit or proceeding; and

(6) Whether the information is available from another source, including Rule 35 of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure.

(f) If the court determines that a subpoena should issue, the information shall not be disclosed for any other purpose except as authorized by this chapter.

(g) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to bar a healthcare provider or custodian of healthcare information from filing a motion to quash a subpoena for this information in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1996, ch. 248, § 3; P.L. 1996, ch. 266, § 3.)