October 24, 2020

Volume X, Number 298

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HIPAA Right to Access Failures – Continued Penalties for Providers

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, individuals have a right to timely access their medical records at a reasonable cost. With some exceptions, a health care provider must provide those records without reasonable delay and within thirty days of receiving the request. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has stated that one of its enforcement priorities is its HIPAA right to access initiative. 

OCR recently imposed penalties ranging from $3,500 to $70,000 on five health care providers who failed to provide patients with timely access to their medical records. This recent enforcement action follows penalties levied against two health care providers in 2019, each in the amount of $85,000, for right to access failures. 

In addition to monetary penalties, these five providers will be monitored by OCR and are required to submit Corrective Action Plans. All five investigations were initiated by patient complaints. Providers should review their right to access policies and procedures and monitor compliance with those procedures to confirm that patients are able to timely access their medical records. 

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 268
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About this Author

Kristen Wilson, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm, Professional Liability Litigation Attorney
Of Counsel

Kristen Andrews Wilson practices in the firm’s litigation department, focusing on medical professional liability and long term care defense, as well as general and complex civil litigation and insurance defense. 

304-231-0444
Charles A. Sinsel, Steptoe Johnson, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, Employment recruitment Attorney
Member

Charles "Chark" Sinsel concentrates his practice in the areas of health care, corporate law, business transactions, and contracting. Mr. Sinsel represents health care entities, including hospitals, nursing homes, behavioral health providers, medical and dental practices, in a variety of transactions, including acquisitions, corporate restructuring, leasing, employment, recruitment, income guarantees, independent contractor (services) arrangements and group purchasing arrangements. Mr. Sinsel serves as leader of the Firm's Health Care Team.

 

304-933-8148
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