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Information Sharing with the Feds is Risky Business

David M. Glaser, Esq.

Over the last few weeks, a few articles of mine addressed interacting with government agents. One topic that I did not discuss was determining whether you can, should, or must share information with the government. 

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to definitively answer that question for every topic, even in a book chapter, let alone in this article. In fact, I don’t know the answer for every possible scenario that might arise. I’ve dealt with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but I haven’t interacted with the Treasury Department or Secret Service, for example.

I don’t know that anyone knows the full authority of every single government agency, but I do know the basic principles that one can and should apply when a government agent requests information.

Threading this needle is hard. You may remember the story of a clinic that was visited by an individual demanding to photograph the clinic’s durable medical equipment (DME) inventory. The receptionist, fearful of breaching the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), refused to allow the agent into that area. As a result, the clinic failed its DME survey and lost its DME number for two years.


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This article originally published on February 14, 2024 by RACmonitor.