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159690 - In re Petition of Attorney General for Subpoenas

In re Petition of Attorney General for Subpoenas

_______________________________

 

 

Attorney General,

 

Michele Wagner-Gutkowski

 

Petitioner-Appellant,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Ingham – Draganchuk, J.)

 

 

 

 

Vernon E. Proctor, M.D.,

 

J. Nicholas Bostic

 

Respondent-Appellee.

 

Summary

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, through the Attorney General, filed a petition in the Ingham Circuit Court, seeking authorization to access the medical records of 11 of Dr. Vernon Proctor’s patients.  The petition explained that the Department had initiated an investigation of Dr. Proctor’s treatment of patients and/or his controlled substance prescribing practices.  It sought disclosure of patient records under MCL 333.16235 and 42 CFR 2.66.  Without first holding a hearing, the circuit court issued an order authorizing the subpoenas.  Dr. Proctor appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the circuit court in a published opinion, holding that the circuit court failed to comply with federal law.  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the application to address:  (1) whether the circuit court was required to hold a hearing before authorizing the disclosure of medical records under 42 CFR 2.66; (2) whether the circuit court erred when it determined that the petitioner established “good cause” and otherwise satisfied the criteria set forth in 42 CFR 2.64(d) and 42 CFR 2.64(e); and (3) whether the circuit court erred in authorizing the disclosure of confidential patient communications under 42 CFR 2.63(a).​