The American Medical Association (AMA) has issued a new HIPAA playbook to enable physicians and their practices to fully grasp the HIPAA Right of Access so that they could comply with this crucial requirement of HIPAA.
Misunderstandings regarding the HIPAA Right of Access may lead to financial charges for noncompliance. The HHS’ Office for Civil Rights presented a new HIPAA Right of Access enforcement initiative in 2019 and has actually taken action against two healthcare companies that were not delivering patients copies of their medical records promptly. Both cases began with a single patient who complained about not being provided with a copy of the requested health records and closed with an $85,000 financial fine.
Patients must get access to their healthcare information so as to make educated decisions regarding their own wellness. Under HIPAA, patients have the right to get hold of a copy of their health records, however, healthcare companies can face difficulties complying with all of the legal specifications of HIPAA. These difficulties, combined with misunderstandings regarding the HIPAA Right of Access, have kept some providers from providing patient requests for copies of their health information.
The Patient Records Electronic Access Playbook was published to teach physicians and their practices regarding the requirement to provide patients access to their medical documents and the legal requirements associated to medical record access and the providing of information to patients.
The 104-page document is split into four components and addresses the legal requirements of HIPAA and patient access laws and the difficulties physician practices encounter when adhering to the HIPAA Right of Access. The playbook consists of guidance to assist doctors to overcome difficulties and recommendations for operationalizing the provision of records access.
The document additionally dispels a number of the common myths regarding providing patients and third parties their health records, the health information that can and cannot be shared, the price that healthcare organizations can ask for providing copies of medical records, and how medical information should be provided.
The playbook clarifies that even though patient portals are being used adherence to the HIPAA Right of Access is not sure. Patient portals do not usually permit patients to access all health data and copies of medical records should still be provided to patients. AMA advises giving patients the chance to access their health information over a number of media. The playbook likewise covers providing health records to third parties upon request, which are two facets of the HIPAA Right of Access that have created misunderstandings for a lot of physician practices.
AMA states in the playbook that healthcare organizations ought to know about the functionality of their EHRs, and explore how patient information could be delivered to other healthcare organizations, how information may be fed into patient sites, and how to copy patient files to USB drives or CDs.
Healthcare organizations must also try to encourage patients to take more interest in their health and acquire a copy of their health information and examine those records for flaws. The patient can be encouraged to use applications and access medical information to become an active winner of his or her health. Patients may better take care of their health by realizing and managing all of their medical information.