Mass Tort Authorizations & The Qualified Protective Order

What one item can single-handedly stop the entire lien resolution process? The lack of a properly executed, HIPAA compliant, authorization.  When this simple form is missing, it becomes impossible to obtain lien information and the process stalls.  Every attorney knows that many clients simply cannot be reached or fail to respond quickly to your requests. Their unresponsiveness makes the problem difficult to rectify.  But there is hope. You can avoid this pitfall entirely by petitioning the Court for a Qualified Protective Order (QPO).

A QPO grants authority to an entity, such as a lien resolution administrator, to request and obtain the lien information for a firm’s entire client inventory from all health insurance carriers.

The authority for the QPO is derived from the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  45 CFR 164.512(e) states that an entity may disclose personal health information in response to a court order, or absent a court order if the party seeking the information provides satisfactory assurance that reasonable efforts have been made to secure a qualified protective order.  Note that the rule does not require that the order actually be granted before an entity is allowed to release information. Proof that the order has been requested should be sufficient.

Remember to keep a few points in mind when drafting a QPO.  The Privacy Rule requires that the order prohibit parties from using or disclosing the information for any purpose other than the litigation for which it was requested.  It also requires the return or destruction of the information upon the conclusion of the litigation.  In addition to this required language, it is essential to include a comprehensive list of all potential entities to which the order applies.  For example, if the order merely authorizes the release of information from “Medicare, Medicaid and Private Health Plans,” an entity such as Tricare or the VA may refuse to comply because they don’t fit within any of those categories.

Many firms don’t plan for lien resolution as early as they could. If you are anticipating an upcoming settlement, have settled cases which you’d like to disburse, or simply have questions about mass tort lien resolution such as when or how to begin, please contact us at 833-GO-MASSIVE and discover how MASSIVE can deliver exceptional results for you. 

Better Mass Tort Lien Resolution Matters.