Communication and Confidentiality . The Basics Every GAL Needs to Know. Presented by Thom Nolan. Communication – What is it?. Conveying information to others; requires using a common language that all participants understand. Written Verbal Non-verbal
The Basics Every GAL Needs to Know
Presented by Thom Nolan
Conveying information to others; requires using a common language that all participants understand.
No form of communication should occur without a conscious reflection of what the desired goal of the communication is.
Tindell v. Rogosheske, 428 NW2d 386 (Minn. 1988)
When is something confidential?
As a Quasi judicial officer, a guardian ad litem is an officer of the court, as is a lawyer.
Minnesota lawyers are bound by a strict code of conduct pertaining to confidentiality.
Though obviously not bound by the same code, it may be helpful to look at the language to see how, if at all, a guardian possesses similar responsibilities of confidentiality.
Minn. R. GAL.P. 905.01 (b).
What does this mean to you?
Federal Law: HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
State law vs. Federal Law
Generally, the privacy provisions of HIPAA will preempt state law.
Some exceptions exist, such as when the state law’s purpose is to provide even greater privacy protections than does federal law; when the state law exists to serve a compelling public health, safety or welfare need.
Congress established National Standards and identifiers for providers, electronic health care transactions and the security and privacy of health care data.
In essence, anyone who has individually identifiable health information that is held or transmitted by a covered entity.
The information can be kept and transmitted in any form – electronic, paper, oral.
This is generically considered “protected health information (PHI)”
Group health plans of less than 50 participants administered solely by an employer
Certain government programs, such as community health centers
1. public health authorities authorized by law to collect or receive such information for preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability and to public health or other authorities authorized to receive reports of child abuse and neglect;
2. in a judicial or administrative proceeding if the request for the information is through an order from a court or administrative tribunal.
Such information may also be disclosed in response to a subpoena or other lawful process if certain assurances regarding notice to the individual or a protective order are provided.
Does the Guardian ad Litem Appointment order fall within HIPAA’s definition of an order from the court?