Changes to An Individuals’ Right of Access to Health Records
In January 2018, Georgia-based Ciox Health filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, arguing that some sections of the HIPAA Right of Access rules around third-party requests for patient records are impermissible under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Fast forward two years this month when a federal judge in the District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the “third-party directive” within the individual right of access “insofar as it expands the HITECH Act’s third-party directive beyond requests for a copy of an electronic health record with respect to protected health information (“PHI”) of an individual … in an electronic format.”
Additionally, the court held that the fee limitation should only apply to an individual’s request for access to their records, and does not apply to an individual’s request to transmit health documents to a third party.
- In 2013, HHS enacted regulatory changes to HIPAA and, in 2016, broadened the type of information that must be transmitted upon request.
- The agency also limited the fees that could be charged to a reasonable cost, or a flat fee of about $6.50.
- The right of individuals to access their records and the fee limitations that apply when exercising this right are undisturbed and remain in effect.
A patient has the right to privacy and prompt access to their medical records. Medical record mistakes can be the root of a medical malpractice lawsuit, in which providers do not properly communicate, or make incorrect notes or provide the wrong health information to third parties or patients.
Medical Records: Essential Piece of Evidence in Illinois Medical Malpractice Claim
When a patient’s health care provider doesn’t release the right or most updated medical record or refuses to share information, it may flag the cause of a physician’s error or delay in treatment or medical mistake. Incorrect medical documents and false physician notes can also impact a patient’s access to policy benefits since each time a claim is processed with the wrong information, the dollar amount counts toward that patient’s lifetime and may exhaust their coverage limits and delay necessary treatments due to out-of-pocket costs.
Victims of medical record mistakes may:
- receive the wrong medical treatment
- find that their health insurance benefits have been exhausted
- become a victim of medical record fraud
- could become uninsurable for both life and health insurance coverage
If you find yourself in any of these situations, you should immediately report any inconsistencies in your record. Also, stay informed about the health care services you receive, and the names of doctors who are treating you. Furthermore, keep good records of your medical care and the medical bills you receive.
Request Legal Answers from Knowledgeable Illinois Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. If you believe a medical record-related issue may have led to a severe injury or worse, a fatal outcome, we can help. Please contact the firm at (312) 332-2872 to schedule a FREE consultation.