OCR Resolves HIPAA Access Rights Violations With 5 Other Providers

• The HHS Office for Civil Rights announced Tuesday that it has completed five more investigations into violations of the HIPAA requirement that patients have access to their electronic medical records.

• Settlements include all OCR payments ranging from $ 3,500 from King MD, Virginia, to $ 70,000 from Beth Israel Lahey Health Behavioral Services. The five suppliers have agreed with corrective action plans with a follow-up of one or two years.

• Three of the providers did not allow access to patients’ medical records until a second complaint was submitted to OCR and validated. All-Inclusive Medical Services, a specialty family clinic in Carmichael, California, denied a patient’s request for access in January 2018 and only submitted records last month after the second OCR review.

The agreements include a total of seven agreements since OCR began last year with the HIPAA right of access initiative. Lack of access to EHR information can lead a patient to misinterpret her care plan and promote the best treatment.

“Patients cannot make their own healthcare decisions without having timely access to their medical information,” OCR Director Roger Severino said in a statement.

The settlement amount is determined based on the extent of the breach, the resulting damage, and size of the organization, the history of HIPAA compliance, and financial condition. This includes the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the statement.

The first OCR access fee was agreed to two years ago this month and included an $ 85,000 payment from a Community Health Systems hospital in Florida. The second was in December with a study of primary care and pain management, also in Florida.

This week’s activities include Wise Psychiatry in Colorado, which pays for $ 10,000, and New York-based Housing Works, which provides health and social services to people living with HIV or AIDS. Pay $ 38,000 OCR.