Subpoena Policy and Procedure
Primary audience: HCH health center staff.
Subpoena Policy and Procedure at Health Care for the Homeless Sites
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule) protects individually identifiable health information and defines circumstances when individual’s protected health information (PHI) can be used and disclosed. The Privacy Rule details whether patient’s authorization is required in the process of PHI use and disclosure.
Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) administrators are responsible for ensuring their program complies with HIPAA rules and standards when it comes to the storage, use, and disclosure of their clients’ PHI. This is the case when it comes to disclosure of PHI for judicial proceedings and for law enforcement purposes. Subpoenas may be issued to program staff and leadership regarding HCH clients.
Three Types of Subpoenas
The three types of subpoenas are:
- a witness subpoena, which requires an entity to appear in court to give evidence;
- a deposition subpoena, which requires an entity to provide copies of records and/or attend a deposition hearing; and
- a subpoena duces tecum, which requires an entity to provide copies of records and/or attend a court hearing.
To support HCH administrators’ efforts to maintain the highest standards of care for those they serve and remain compliant with PHI disclosure law, Health Care for the Homeless Council Administrator’s Committee members shared their policy and procedure documents regarding disclosure of PHI for judicial proceedings and for law enforcement purposes. You can find these documents as well as additional resources below.
Policy & Procedure Examples
- Colorado Coalition for the Homeless – Subpoena Discovery Judicial and Administrative Disclosure
- Community Health of South Florida – Policy and Procedure on Subpoenas and Summons
- Health Care for the Homeless Baltimore – Handling Law Enforcement Requests Procedure
- NYU Langone Hospitals – Legal Process Service of Process
- NYU Langone Hospitals – Legal Process Service of Process FAQ
- Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule
- A Step-by-Step Guide for Responding to Medical Record Subpoenas
- What to Know Before Responding to a Medical Record Subpoena
- HIPAA for Individuals: Court Orders and Subpoenas
 Alder, Steve. September 22, 2022. “Can Medical Records be Subpoenaed?” The HIPAA Journal. https://www.hipaajournal.com/can-medical-records-be-subpoenaed/