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Medical Records 101: Responding to Requests for Patient Information

OnDemand Webinar (97 minutes)

Gain a comprehensive look at the rules on access and prepare for the process of incorporating any necessary changes into how you do business.

Individual access of health information is a top issue at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as a focal point for enforcement under HIPAA, and in the fight to eliminate information blocking under the 21st Century Cures Act. New rules are proposed to require the sharing of Protected Health Information (PHI) among providers and with patients, and the most recent HIPAA enforcement action is directly focused on ensuring patients are provided the records they request promptly. Improving individual access to medical records is an idea whose time has definitely arrived, and providers that do not follow the rules and guidance from HHS are risking significant penalties. HHS is serious about information blocking, and is using HIPAA to advance goals for better patient access of medical records. In addition, HHS has proposed changes to the HIPAA rules to improve the response of healthcare providers to requests to access or transfer PHI, especially electronic information.

This topic will help health information professionals understand what they have to do in regard to requests for patient information, 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. The new information blocking regulations and proposed changes to the HIPAA 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, with more than a dozen-and-a-half enforcement settlements announced in recent months.

Authors

Jim Sheldon-Dean, Lewis Creek Systems, LLC

Agenda

Overview of HIPAA Rules

• The HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules and How They Interact With Each Other

• Expected Changes in the Rules

• Compliance With Access Requests

Release of PHI and Individual Access Regulations

• The Information Patients Have Access to and How Access Is Required to Be Provided

• When and How to Properly Deny Access as Requested by Individuals

• Requests From Professionals for Patient Information and the HIPAA Authorization Process

Guidance and Court Rulings About Individual Access

• Drawing the Line for Responsibilities for Access Provision

• How a Court Decision Limits the Scope of Release to Individuals Involving Third Parties

• Permitted Flexibility and Alternatives in Communication, Such as E-Mail and Messaging

HIPAA Penalties and Information Blocking

• Compliance With Individual Access Rules

• Information Blocking Rules

• HIPAA Violations Can Lead to Penalties From Hhs, Individual States, and Class Action Suits

New Technologies, Individual Access, and Information Security

• HIPAA and New Technologies

• Using Apps for Individual Access of PHI

• Following Industry Standard Practices in Security