American Medical Association Playbook Explains Prevalent HIPAA Right of Access Misconceptions

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released another HIPAA playbook to guide doctors and their practices have an understanding of the HIPAA Right of Access to make sure they could abide by this vital HIPAA requirement.

Misconceptions concerning the HIPAA Right of Access could bring about financial fines for noncompliance. The HHS’ Office for Civil Rights introduced another HIPAA Right of Access enforcement initiative in 2019 and has now done something against two healthcare institutions that weren’t giving patients copies of their health records on time. The two cases began with one patient who complained about not being given a copy of the requested medical records and concluded with an $85,000 financial charge.

Patients should have access to their healthcare records in order to make smart decisions concerning their own wellbeing. Under HIPAA, patients get the right to acquire a copy of their medical records, yet healthcare organizations can face problems following all of the legal demands of HIPAA. These problems, in addition to misconceptions concerning the HIPAA Right of Access, have held back a number of providers from meeting patient requests for copies of their medical records.

The Patient Records Electronic Access Playbook was issued to inform doctors and their practices concerning the mandate to give patients access to their health data and the legal requirements connected to health record access and the giving of data to patients.

The 104-page guide is broken into four segments and explains the HIPAA legal requirements and patient access laws and the problems physician practices deal with when following the HIPAA Right of Access. The document contains guidance to aid medical professionals overcome issues and guidelines for operationalizing the processing of records access.

The document likewise dispels several common myths concerning giving patients and third parties their medical records, the medical data that can and can’t be provided, the fee that healthcare companies could impose for giving copies of health records, and how health documents ought to be provided.

The playbook makes clear that even if patient portals are used conformity to the HIPAA Right of Access is hardly certain. Patient portals don’t generally let patients access their entire health records and copies of health records must still be given to patients. AMA proposes giving patients the option to access their medical records over various media. The playbook at the same time covers giving medical records to third parties upon request, which are two areas of the HIPAA Right of Access that have generated disarray for numerous physician practices.

AMA reveals in the playbook that healthcare companies have to understand the capacities of their EHRs and find out how patient data may be forwarded to other healthcare companies, how data could be fed into patient websites, and how to store patient data to CDs or USB drives.

Healthcare companies need to also make an effort to encourage patients to have additional attention in their medical care and get a copy of their health data and assess those records for mistakes. The patient could be urged to use software and access medical data to be an active champ of his or her health. Patients could better care for their health by knowing and handling all of their health data.

About the Author

Elizabeth Hernandez
Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAA News. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked in the healthcare sector for several years. Her expertise is not limited to general healthcare reporting but extends to specialized areas of healthcare compliance and HIPAA compliance. Elizabeth's knowledge in these areas has made her a reliable source for information on the complexities of healthcare regulations. Elizabeth's contribution to the field extends to helping readers understand the importance of patient privacy and secure handling of health information. Elizabeth holds a postgraduate degree in journalism. You can follow Elizabeth on twitter at