HHS released this email today.
We have seen similar messages in the last few months. These emails are summarizing cases that are part of OCR’s HIPAA Right of Access Initiative. This initiative is targeted at offices that do not release information when properly requested or release when they should not have. This is not surprising as the proposed changes to HIPAA were released for comment and they focus on strengthening individuals’ rights to access their own health information.
There are No changes to HIPAA yet but what does this mean for you now?
- Have an updated record request policy and procedure
- The turnaround time to fulfill requests should be as quickly as possible.
- Be aware of the Information Blocking rules that were released last year
- The main thing that changed was the HIPPA Rule stipulates you can take up to 2 weeks to process a records request where Information blocking now says they need to be processed as soon as possible.
- Document when records are requested and when you fulfilled the request
- As always never share a contact list for your patients with anyone.