HIPAA Right of Access Penalties are Mounting

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) continues to enforce the HIPAA Right of Access on behalf of patients.

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Healthcare providers have been warned about complying with the HIPAA Right of Access as set out in the 21st Century CURES Act. 

Now, providers are seeing words in action. 

Since beginning the enforcement initiative, the OCR has brought forth 38 actions with financial penalties against healthcare providers in violation of the Right of Access Initiative. 

Pursuant to the Right of Access of Initiative, covered healthcare providers are required to provide patients with their medical records in a timely manner. Records must be provided at a reasonable cost. 

What does HIPAA require? 

Pursuant to HIPAA, upon receipt of a request, a healthcare provider has 30 days to provide a patient with their records in a timely manner. 

HIPAA’s enforcement actions have targeted a variety of practices with penalties ranging from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

How can you protect your practice? 

Make sure all of your policies and procedures are up to date and your staff is trained. 

If your staff receives a request for a patient record, what is your procedure? How quickly can you turn around the records? Awareness is key. 

Potential obstacles should be dealt with immediately. 

However, it is also essential that you remember to protect patient information and ensure that you are not handing out patient information to an inappropriate individual. 

This is where consistent policies and training help to ensure a smooth process. 

At Rickard & Associates, we help our clients draft compliant policies and procedures. We then help them enact them and train staff to help allow for efficient responses to patient requests. 

If you need help with your polices, compliance, training and more, contact Rickard & Associates today. 

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