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Virginia Medical Records Law: Issues of Privacy and Compliance in the Release of Patient Medical Records and Protected Health Information

(283 reviews)

Produced on October 31, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Whether representing an individual, a healthcare professional or a healthcare company, advising parties on how best to obtain, protect and disseminate electronic and non-electronic records containing confidential protected health information (“PHI”) requires an in-depth understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), related Virginia statutes and other subject matter-specific federal and state statutes. And, because the penalties for the improper dissemination of PHI or the failure to properly protect access to such PHI can be serious and can result in significant monetary and non-monetary penalties, the failure to fully appreciate these challenges and properly advise clients in this area can have devastating consequences. John Ivins, a partner with the law firm of Hirschler Fleischer who has practiced in this area for more than 20 years, will explore the complexities of handling medical records and other information containing confidential PHI, identifying the many federal andsState statutes that must be considered, the various privacy considerations and how best to address those in day-to-day practice as well as in the courts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide an overview of HIPAA and an identification of the many state and federal laws implicated in obtaining, protecting and disseminating medical records and other information containing PHI
  2. Develop an understanding of who owns the records, who is entitled to access the records, and under what circumstances
  3. Explore the various requirements for protecting PHI and certain of the penalties for failing to do so
  4. Appreciate the complexities for addressing certain special circumstances applicable to particular types of records/information and the statutes and legal principles that may apply
  5. Obtain and respond to requests for medical records and other information containing PHI through the subpoena process or otherwise

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


John Ivins


John’s commercial litigation practice focuses primarily on healthcare and real estate with extensive experience in state and federal courts, administrative proceedings and mediations/arbitrations. John’s practice also includes serving as a hearing officer and mediator and as an adjunct professor of law. Prior to joining the firm, John served as a staff judicial law clerk for the Supreme Court of Virginia.


John routinely represents hospitals and health systems, advising various committees, hospital staff and MECs/governing boards on:

  • Peer review, credentialing, and bylaw compliance;
  • Fair Hearings/administrative proceedings pertaining to physician privileges/employment disputes;
  • Compliance reviews/audits, regulatory appeals and related litigation;
  • DMAS audits/administrative hearings; and
  • HIPAA compliance, NPDB requirements, contracts/business associate agreements and contract disputes, and a variety of risk management issues including OSHA.

John’s Fair Hearing experience includes serving as counsel to various hospitals and their MECs, serving as counsel to the Fair Hearing Panel and serving as a Hearing Officer. John is also on the American Health Lawyers Association panel of neutrals as both a mediator and hearing officer.

In addition to hospitals and health systems, John represents medical practices, physicians and other healthcare professionals on a wide variety of matters, including physician office operations, HIPAA compliance, contracts and contract/employment disputes. 

He also represents physicians and other healthcare professionals in licensure and related administrative proceedings before various regulatory Boards.

John also represents manufacturers in the healthcare field in various types of product liability litigation. 

Real Estate

John’s real estate practice focuses upon a variety of leasing and related matters, representing regional and national shopping center/mall owners/developers, hospitals and health systems, long-term care facilities and national owners/developers of multi-family housing. With his extensive knowledge of the laws pertaining to landlord-tenant relationships, Stark and Anti-Kickback, creditor rights and bankruptcy, John is called upon to handle a variety of litigation matters and to assist in the development of non-litigation dispute resolution strategies. 

Representative Experience

Healthcare Litigation/Regulatory Matters

  • Representation of various hospitals and health systems in Fair Hearings and related administrative/litigation matters. 
  • Serving as a Hearing Officer and counsel to the Hearing Panel in Fair Hearings.
  • Counsel to hospital executive staff and committees on a variety of operational, management, and physician privilege/employment issues. Examples include:
  • Addressing issues arising during the credentialing process.
  • Handling matters arising following precautionary and other physician suspensions/investigations.
  • Preparing behavioral contracts relative to disruptive physicians.
  • Providing guidance as to bylaw compliance, NPDB reporting requirements, HIPAA compliance, responses to medical records subpoenas, physician contracting, resolving physician disputes/employment issues.
  • Representation of hospitals, health systems and other healthcare providers in internal investigations, compliance audits and related appeals/litigation. In one particular case, a challenge to the particular audit methodology employed by the governmental agency resulted in the withdrawal of a multimillion dollar assessment.

Real Estate/Landlord/Tenant Matters

  • Representation of regional and national mall and shopping center developers and owners in hundreds of tenant disputes as well as slip and fall cases. In one particular suit arising out of a tenant’s default and a subsequent suit filed by the tenant challenging the owner’s sale of tenant’s restaurant furniture and equipment, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the owner following only 10 minutes of deliberation. 
  • Representation of national apartment owners and developers in hundreds of tenant disputes as well as slip and fall cases.
  • Representation of hospitals, health systems and long-term care facilities in real estate/tenant litigation.
  • Representation of a locality following its decision to deny a particular subdivision request. The locality’s decision was upheld following a six-month long trial.

Product Liability

  • Representation of manufacturers in various types of product liability litigation including prosthetic devices, asbestos, seat belts, swimming pools and food. Many of these cases arose in various federal courts and concluded with favorable summary judgment dismissals.


Joseph S.

Excellent coverage of issues dealing with minors and their right to medical records, ability to consent to certain procedures, and a health care providers duty to retain minors' records.

Scott R.


Karen T.

The information provided was helpful and surprising!

Robert N.


William P.

Great job.

Tom H.

So much material and so many issues. Instructor need a great job presenting it all

George K.

interesting course

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