One of the recent HIPAA enforcement actions concerned a hospital that did not provide timely access to patient records, and HHS has indicated that patient access rules under HIPAA will be used to enforce the new efforts against data blocking by the holders of records.
It is clear that making sure you are handling access requests and communication preferences properly is essential to avoiding penalties and fines under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
The head of US DHHS has indicated that providing patient access to Protected Health Information is a key priority for improving the nation's health and recent guidance from HHS provides detailed information on how best to provide information to patients within the rules. Covered entities, and particularly those that use electronic health records (EHRs), will need to meet the new access and disclosure guidance. And if you are required to have a HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, you need to make sure it shows all the rights that patients have.
2016 guidance from the HHS Office of Civil Rights will be explained, including the additional updates to the guidance, so that access can be provided according to the rules. Issues on provision and denial of access, as well as fees and other topics, will be discussed, including new 2019 guidance on the responsibilities of Business Associates when involved with individual access requests. Medical laboratories are now required to provide individual access to test records, and will need to have processes to authenticate those who request information and the means to ensure that the correct results are provided to authenticated individuals.
HHS has issued guidance on issues relating to access of mental health records and the records of minors, clarifying what information may be provided or not, depending on the information and other circumstances. This guidance will be reviewed, as well as the relationship to rules for handling information relating to substance use disorders under 42 CFR Part 2.
The new regulations will be reviewed and their effects on usual practices will be discussed, as will what policies need to be changed and how. We will show what policies and evidence you may need to produce if your compliance is reviewed by the HHS Office of Civil Rights, which has already indicated that compliance with the rules on patient access of records is a significant problem.
This Webinar will help health information professionals understand what they have to do, and when, and what to keep in mind as they move forward, in order to be in compliance with the regulations. It will provide a comprehensive look at the emphasis on the rules on access and prepare attendees for the process of incorporating any necessary changes into how they do business in their facilities.
Why should you Attend: The rules having to do with patient access of records need to be reflected in every health care-related organization's policies and procedures.
The guidance provides clear and detailed information on how to provide access, what can be charged for in fees, and what the individual's rights are when it comes to access of information. The rallying cry for easy patient access and transfer of information increases daily and is no longer escapable.
HIPAA now provides for individual rights to receive electronic copies of records held electronically, and patients have rights under HIPAA and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to directly access test results from the laboratories creating the data. Electronic record systems must be designed and implemented to securely provide access for patients to their information. These changes must be respected by entities subject to the HIPAA rules through modifications to policies and notices, and training of staff to reflect the new requirements.
The leadership of HHS has indicated that it takes patient access of information very seriously and will make that a regulatory priority. To complicate things, a recent Federal Court ruling limits the use of the individual access provisions of the rules to only releases of information to the individual, not third parties.
All HIPAA-covered entities need to review their HIPAA compliance, policies, and procedures to see if they are prepared to be in full compliance and meet the requirements of the rules. Compliance is required and penalties for violations for willful neglect of the rules now begin at more than $11,000.
Areas Covered in the Session: