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Posted by: Landry Butler on Jul 5, 2017

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Duncan E. Ragsdale, William R. Bruce, and Aaron L. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deborah Bray.

Attorneys 2:

James T. McColgan, III and Sherry S. Fernandez, Cordova, Tennessee, for the appellee, Radwan R. Khuri, M.D.

W. Bryan Smith, Memphis, Tennessee; John Vail, Washington, D.C.; and Brian G. Brooks, Greenbrier, Arkansas, for amicus curiae, Tennessee Association for Justice.

Judge(s): LEE

Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-121(a)(2)(E) requires a person who asserts a potential claim for healthcare liability to include with pre-suit notice a HIPAA-compliant medical authorization permitting the healthcare provider who receives the notice to obtain complete medical records “from each other provider being sent the notice.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(a)(2)(E). Here, the plaintiff sent pre-suit notice of her claim to a single healthcare provider and included a medical authorization. After the plaintiff filed suit, the defendant healthcare provider moved to dismiss, asserting the plaintiff had failed to provide a HIPAA-compliant medical authorization. The trial court granted the motion, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. We hold that a prospective plaintiff who provides pre-suit notice to one potential defendant is not required under Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-121(a)(2)(E) to provide the single potential defendant with a HIPAA-compliant medical authorization. We reverse the judgments of the trial court and the Court of Appeals and remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings.