Litigation Services: In cases where a healthcare provider or biller is taking part in legal proceedings, HIPAA provides provisions were protected health information can be provided to those assisting with legal proceedings. These data are to be used solely for purposes related to the legal case.
Since HIPAA allows for third party access to health data in cases related to legal proceedings, such information can be used with or without the patient’s permission. Patients would have a considerable advantage in court if HIPAA could be used to withhold certain evidence from a case.
Protected health information can also be gained by receiving a subpoena for data in question. A subpoena can be issued whether or not an active case is being pursued against a patient. While HIPAA provides protection for patients in a majority of situations, their power is not unlimited.