HIPAA Action Items for the Year’s End

As we move into this New Year it’s a great time to review your HIPAA Policies & Procedures and ensure compliance throughout the practice.  Many of you have had staff turnover and policies you had in place even a year ago may have fallen by the wayside. As we all know, one of the most important regulations is HIPAA.  While we always think of HIPAA as a privacy law it is also an access law.  Just a few weeks ago OCR released examples of five physician practices that have had complaints from patients who have been unable to get access to their records after multiple attempts.  Each of these offices had to undergo an investigation, agree to monitor, and pay a fee.

So, what do you need to know?

  1. You MUST provide medical records as soon as you possibly can and never over 30 days.  Now, this does not mean you can routinely take 30 days.  The new rule put in place by Information Blocking, a companion law to HIPAA states “as soon as possible”.
  2. You need written Polices & Procedures that staff may follow on how to handle records requests.
  3. See BTC resources (AVM 825, FTM 1167, Form 1167)



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