What healthcare entities need to know about search warrants

Listen to article
13 minute read

A few years back, following a sad occurrence in which a nurse administered incorrect medication that killed a patient, state investigators descended upon a prominent academic medical center armed with a search warrant. Law enforcement showing up with a search warrant and taking health records was not something this medical center saw coming, as surely law enforcement raids were reserved for shady medical practices and not prestigious health systems tied to top-ranked universities. Right?

In recent years, federal agents have executed search warrants at many healthcare facilities, including hospitals,[1] physician groups,[2] dental groups,[3] pharmacies,[4] laboratories,[5] medical equipment companies,[6] hospices,[7] nursing homes,[8] and even the offices of a managed care plan.[9] State and local investigators have done the same.[10] Search warrants are not just for shady pill- mill-doctors and fly-by-night kickback schemers; they are increasingly for legitimate, compliant providers of all types. Warrants that allow the search of healthcare facilities are being granted for the acts of rogue employees[11] and the acts of patients.[12] So if your healthcare entity has employees or patients, you need a plan because even a basic plan—on how to communicate with the agents, what privileges to assert over medical records, whether to speak to employees and how to address any media fallout—is going to help in a crisis. And a company’s response to a search warrant could alter the outcome of the government’s investigation.

This article provides the basics of what healthcare entities need to know about search warrants.

This document is only available to members. Please log in or become a member.

Would you like to read this entire article?

If you already subscribe to this publication, just log in. If not, let us send you an email with a link that will allow you to read the entire article for free. Just complete the following form.

* required field