Subject Matter: Ex Parte Communication w/Physicians
The Kentucky Supreme Court did a thorough analysis of the law regarding whether ex parte communications could be conducted with non-expert, non-party treating physiscians. Because there is no physician-patient privilege recognized in KY the court seemed to hang it’s hat on the applicablility of HIPAA when coming to this opinion. The court concluded that under applicable Kentucky Law nothing prohibits ex parte meetings with a treating physician who is both a non-party and non-expert in the case. However, HIPAA does control disclosure of protected health information, (PHI). "Trial courts may satisfy HIPAA and authorize the disclosure of protected health information in an ex parte interview by entering an order that complies with 45 C.F.R sec. 164.512(e)(1)(i)." It remains to be seen how this will affect everyday practice in the Commonwealth. In a concurring opinion two Justices state that it is time for Kentucky to adopt a general physician-patient privilege similar to those communications currently afforded to communications between a patient and their psychotherapist.
Firm/Company: KY Supreme Court
Document Date: February 21, 2020
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