The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has been actively enforcing HIPAA lately, with a focus on the Right of Access Initiative.
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While the OCR continues to enforce HIPAA regularly, recently they have focused on supporting individuals’ right to timely access their health records at a reasonable cost. This is the main goal of their Right of Access Initiative.
Since OCR began the initiative, there have been 27 enforcement actions, so it is important to be aware of the HIPAA regulations surrounding patient access.
Recently, a dentist in Pennsylvania failed to provide a patient with a copy of their medical record. The dentist agreed to pay $30,000 and take corrective actions to comply with the right of access.
Failure to provide one patient with records resulted in a steep fine for that dentist office. The OCR is making a point that this should not be taken lightly.
The OCR also recently fined a psychiatric medical services provider in California for potential violations of HIPAA, including the right of access standard.
Make sure your practice is aware of the regulations and your staff is trained on your policies and procedures regarding providing patients with their records.
If you have questions about your compliance, contact Rickard & Associates today. Make sure to fix any potential problems before they arise.
It is also important to comply with the rest of HIPAA, as the OCR is also still enforcing the rest of the HIPAA.
For example, a dental practice in North Carolina was just fined $50,000 after the office responded to a negative online review with Protected Health Information (PHI).
Many practices take for granted that their staff knows about HIPAA and knows to actively enforce it everyday. However, mistakes and confusion happen.
It is essential that your practice is able to show that you have all requirements of HIPAA met, in case there is a violation. This will help mitigate potential fines from the OCR.
If you need help with HIPAA or your other legal needs, contact Rickard & Associates today!
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