What is OCA 960?

OCA 960

Administration of the New York court system is the responsibility of the Office of Court Administration (OCA). The OCA, as the administrative arm of New York’s court system, provides individuals and litigants with certain legal forms. Individuals can print these forms and then fill them out. Individuals can then deliver the forms as needed, to satisfy a legal requirement. OCA Forms are designated by number. OCA 960, one of the more well-known OCA forms, is entitled, “Authorization for Release of Health Information Pursuant to HIPAA.” 

OCA 960 has been approved for use by the New York State Department of Health. Litigants use OCA 960 to authorize the release of health information needed in New York State courts. When a litigant signs the form, the litigant grants permission to an entity to discuss health information with the litigant’s attorney. More information about OCA 960 can be found below.

What is OCA 960? Is OCA 960 Use Required?

OCA 960 is New York state’s “official” HIPAA written authorization form for use by litigants during the course of litigation, to meet the requirements of the Privacy Rule. Use of OCA 960 is not required, however. 

The form is two pages long. The first page allows a user to input authorization information (a user may fill out the form online, download it to be signed by hand, or download it and fill it out on paper). The second page explains that OCA 960 was designed to ”produce a standard official form that complies with the requirements of HIPAA. To be used to authorize the release of health information needed for litigation in New York State courts. It can, however, be used more broadly than this and be used before litigation has been commenced, or whenever counsel would find it useful.”

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Box Number 9a of OCA 960 allows a litigant to authorize specific information to be released. This information includes medical records for a particular time range, or an entire medical record, including:

Patient histories;

Office notes (except psychotherapy notes);

Test results;

Radiology studies;

Films;

Referrals and consults;

Billing records; and

Insurance records.

Box 9a also permits an individual to authorize release of alcohol/drug treatment, mental health information, and/or HIV-related information. 

By initialing Box 9b, the litigant patient authorizes a specific healthcare provider to discuss his or her health information with his or her attorney. Once the attorney receives the information, the attorney can use the information as part of the overall case strategy.

In box 1, the litigant can indicate the date on which the authorization can expire. The litigant can indicate “at the end of my court case,” or can provide a specific date amount of time, such as “3 years from this date.”