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Wagner v. Summit Air Ambulance LLC

United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division

June 12, 2018

STAN and RAINY WAGNER, on Behalf of Themselves and All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
SUMMIT AIR AMBULANCE, LLC, REACH AIR MEDICAL SERVICES, LLC, and DOES I-X, Defendants. REACH AIR MEDICAL SERVICES, LLC, Counterclaim and Third-Party Claim-Plaintiff,
v.
HEALTH CARE SERVICE CORPORATION d/b/a BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MONTANA and STAN and RAINY WAGNER, Counterclaim and Third-Party Claim-Defendants.

          WILLIAM J. MATTIX CROWLEY FLECK PLLP, JOSHUA L. FUCHS, NICOLE M. PERRY, JONES DAY, CHARLOTTE H. TAYLOR ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS SUMMIT AIR AMBULANCE, LLC AND REACH AIR MEDICAL SERVICES, LLC

          MATT J. KELLY MARGARET C. WEAMER TARLOW STONECIPHER WEAMER & KELLY, PLLC, TRAVIS W. KINZLER COK KINZLER PLLP, DANIEL P. BUCKLEY BUCKLEY LAW OFFICE, P.C. ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS STAN AND RAINY WAGNER

          STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER

          BRIAN MORRIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Come now Summit Air Ambulance, LLC and REACH Air Medical Services LLC ("Defendants"), Stan and Rainy Wagner ("Plaintiffs"), and Third-Party Defendant Health Care Service Corporation d/b/a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (“BCBSMT”) (hereinafter, the "Parties"), by their respective counsel, and advise the Court that they have agreed to be bound by the terms of a Protective Order set forth herein below. The Parties have mutually agreed that a "qualified protective order, " as that term is defined by 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(e)(1)(v), is required and mutually agree to remain in full compliance with any privacy requirements imposed by regulations promulgated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (45 C.F.R. Part 164).

         The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPPA”) authorizes a plaintiff, however, to seek limited health care information with appropriate redaction and a protective order. 42 U.S.C. § 1320d-2. A covered entity may disclose protected health information in response to a court order, provided that the entity discloses only the protected health information expressly authorized by such order. 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(e)(1)(i).

         The Court must craft a qualified protective order that prohibits the parties from using or disclosing the protected health information for any purpose other than the litigation or proceeding for which such information was requested; and requires the return to the covered entity or destruction of the protected health information (including all copies made) at the end of the litigation or proceeding. 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(e)(1)(v)(A)-(B).

         The Federal Regulations provide standards and procedures for the proper de-identification of protected health information. 45 C.F.R. § 164.514. Health information that does not identify an individual and with respect to which no reasonable basis exists to believe that the information can be used to identify an individual is not individually identifiable health information. Id.

         Under 45 C.F.R. § 164.514(b), a covered entity may determine that health information is not individually identifiable health information only if: (1) a person with appropriate knowledge documents the limited risk that the information could be used to identify a person; or (2)(i) the following identifiers of the individual or of relatives, employers, or household members of the individual are removed:

(A) Names;
(B) All geographic subdivisions smaller than a State, including street address, city, county, precinct, zip code, and their equivalent geocodes, except for the initial three digits of a zip code if, according to the current publicly available data from the Bureau of the Census:
(1) The geographic unit formed by combining all zip codes with the same three initial digits contains more than 20, 000 people; and
(2) The initial three digits of a zip code for all such geographic units containing 20, 000 or fewer people is changed to 000.
(C) All elements of dates (except year) for dates directly related to an individual, including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death; and all ages over 89 and all elements of dates (including year) indicative of such age, except that such ages and elements may be aggregated into a single category of age 90 or older;
(D) Telephone numbers;
(E) Fax numbers;
(F) Electronic mail addresses;
(G) Social security numbers;
(H) Medical record numbers;
(I) Health plan beneficiary numbers;
(J) Account numbers;
(K) Certificate/license ...

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