A General Overview of How to Format a Demand Letter on the MPT: A demand letter generally follows the following structure. (Note that we go into more detail about what each of these sections means, below. So this is just a general overview!)
- Introductory Paragraph
- Body of the Letter
- Heading 1
- Heading 2
- Heading 3 . . .
A More Detailed Look at How to Format a Demand Letter on the MPT
This sample demand letter below is based upon the February 2015 MPT In re Community General Hospital.
Start with a caption such as the following:
Jackson, Gerard, and Burton LLP
222 St. Germaine Ave.
Lafayette, Franklin 33065
February 20, 2016
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Office of Civil Rights
1717 Federal Way
Lafayette, Franklin 33065
Re: Results of Audit for Compliance with HIPAA Regulations
Dear Mr. Fields:
Generally, the first paragraph should be a short introduction that states the purpose of the letter. It is a good idea to write the introduction last – only then will you have a complete understanding of the issues. Also, refer to the task memo to help you determine the purpose of letter.
Example of an introductory paragraph:
This letter is in response to the letter we received from you on February 9, 2015. Below we will discuss Community General Hospital’s (Hospital) justifications for disclosures that it made concerning three patients. Based on our review, Community General Hospital did not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (45 CFR § 164.500 et seq.). Please review the letter and respond at your earliest convenience.
Generally, you will not include a statement of facts unless the task memo tells you otherwise:
Generally you will be instructed to include the relevant facts in the body of your letter. Do not include a statement of facts unless the task memo instructs you to do so. If, however, you are told to include a statement of facts, that should be your next section. The statement of facts should be no longer than six or seven sentences. Use the facts in the task memo as a jumping off point.
Body of the Letter:
The next section will be the body of the letter. Use headings for each of the sections. Take a moment to bold or underline the headings so that they are easily visible to the bar graders.
Example of headings:
- Patient #1
- Patient #2
- Patient #3
In the body of the letter, answer all of the questions asked of you in the task memo. Under each of the headings, state the relevant rule of law that you extracted from the library and apply the facts from the file to those rules. Distinguish the facts of the cases (if provided) in the library from the facts in the file. Even though you are writing a letter, make sure to follow IRAC. Note that a demand letter requires the use of a persuasive tone, but be careful not to be confrontational. Remember that the purpose of the letter is to convince the recipient to act in accordance with your request.
The last section of the letter is the conclusion. The conclusion suggests that the recipient act in accordance with your demand(s), so be specific about what you are asking the recipient to do. The conclusion does not need be longer than three or four sentences. Proofread your conclusion to ensure that it is consistent with what you wrote earlier in your letter.
Example of a conclusion:
Community General Hospital minimized unnecessary disclosures in compliance with HIPAA in each of the three cases. Therefore, the Hospital did not commit any of the alleged violations set forth in your letter from February 9, 2015. As a result, we request that the Office of Civil Rights close its investigation and refrain from pursuing an enforcement action against Community General Hospital.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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