From:   Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent:    Tuesday, March 09, 2010 11:57 AM
Subject:           RE: DEC Training

Hi - -

I am somewhat familiar with the situation and offer the following.

First, applications for handicapped parking permits are not subject to HIPAA.  HIPAA applies to medical records prepared by providers of medical care (i.e., doctors, hospitals, etc.), as well as insurers.  A town would not, in this context, maintain records falling within the scope of HIPAA.

Second, we have advised that identifying details in applications pertaining to those who seek or
have obtained handicapped parking permits may be deleted.  While those records are not medical
records per se, they are like medical records, and the Court of Appeals has found that analogous
items may be withheld on the ground that disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of
personal privacy.

Third, the foregoing has been explained to a resident in the Town of Rotterdam who has requested the applications for permits that have been granted, with personally identifying details
deleted regarding the applicants.  It is my understanding that the Town requires some sort of
notation or documentation from a physician as a condition precedent to the issuance of a permit. 
That is what she is seeking, for she believes that permits are being granted without the necessary
documentation from a physician.

I hope that this will be useful.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927