A Capehart Scatchard Blog

HIPAA Authorizations Now Required to be Served with Plaintiff’s Answers to Interrogatories

By on December 19, 2014 in Blog with 0 Comments

A recent New Jersey civil procedure rule amendment now requires that plaintiffs serve HIPAA authorizations along with their answers to interrogatories. Pursuant to R. 4:17-4, a plaintiff seeking damages for personal injuries shall serve contemporaneously with his or her answers to interrogatories, an executed form authorizing disclosure to the opposing party or parties, for purposes of litigation, of the plaintiff’s medical records pursuant to HIPAA, as to each health care provider named in his or her answers to interrogatories excluding non-treating expert witnesses.

This rule change is not well known, although it became effective September 1, 2014. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are not providing these authorizations as required because they are apparently unaware of this rule change. We recommend including a reminder at the inception of the case when an answer is filed or supplemental interrogatories are served.

This rule change does not require HIPAA authorizations to be provided for the plaintiff’s pharmacy, family doctor (unless that family doctor is named as a treating physician), or any providers that provided treatment for prior or subsequent accidents. Defense counsel will continue to be required to prepare these other HIPAA authorizations if they wish to obtain these records.

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Betsy G. Ramos

About the Author

About the Author:

Ms. Ramos is an Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Capehart Scatchard, P.A. located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She is an experienced litigator with over 25 years experience handling diverse matters. Practice areas include tort defense, business litigation, estate litigation, tort claims and civil rights defense, construction litigation, insurance coverage, employment litigation, shareholder disputes, and general litigation.

For the years 2020 and 2021, Ms. Ramos was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Litigation - Insurance. The attorneys on this list are selected based upon the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. A complete description of The Best Lawyers in America© methodology can be viewed via their website at: https://www.bestlawyers.com/methodology.

In 2021, Capehart Scatchard and Ms. Ramos received the “Best Law Firm” ranking in the area of Litigation – Insurance (Metro, Tier 3) published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Law firms included on the list are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one attorney who has been included in the current edition of Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top five percent of practicing lawyers in the United States. Betsy Ramos (Litigation – Insurance) was recognized for this prestigious award in the 2021 edition. For a description of the “Best Law Firm” selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

“Best Law Firms” is published by Best Lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report. For a description of the selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

*No aspect of this advertisement has been submitted to or approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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