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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

New Health Care Liability Action: Trial Court's Dismissal of Plaintiffs' Case Based upon Deficient HIPAA-compliant Authorization Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in Moore-Pitts v. Bradley, No. No. E2018-01729-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 9, 2019).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads:
This appeal concerns a healthcare liability action filed by Jennifer Moore-Pitts and David Pitts ("Plaintiffs") in the Knox County Circuit Court ("Trial Court") against Carl A. Bradley, DDS, MAGD ("Defendant"). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' action on the basis of noncompliance with Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26- 121(a)(2)(E), which requires that pre-suit notice include a HIPAA-compliant medical authorization allowing the healthcare provider receiving the notice to obtain complete medical records from every other provider that is sent a notice.' Approximately forty healthcare providers, including Defendant, received pre-suit notice from Plaintiffs. On the medical authorization provided to Defendant, Plaintiffs left blank the name of the individual or entity authorized to make the disclosure of medical records to Defendant but provided an attachment of the names and addresses of the other providers receiving notice. The Trial Court found that Plaintiffs' medical authorization provided to Defendant was not sufficient to allow Defendant to obtain Ms. Moore-Pitts's medical records from the other providers who received the pre-suit notice. As such, the Trial Court found that Plaintiffs could not rely on Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-121(c) to extend the statute of limitations for 120 days. Because Plaintiffs' action was filed one year and 118 days after the cause of action accrued, the Trial Court determined that Plaintiffs' action was untimely. The Trial Court, therefore, granted Defendant's motion to dismiss. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the Trial Court. 
Here is a link to the opinion: 

NOTE: Respectfully, I think this opinion was decided incorrectly, which is explained in a one of my prior posts to this blog: 

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