HIPAA Tool for Obtaining Medical Records
According to HIPAA regulations, the Right of Access lets patients obtain their medical records for themselves, or the patients may direct that records be sent to third parties, including you. To learn more about this topic, watch the video.
Link discussed in today’s video:
We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and you’re kicking off 2023 and the new year with a bang, and everything’s going great. Over the last six weeks, we’ve had conversations about a right of access and its importance, and why it’s important to get records to your patients as quickly as possible and with the information and in the form and the format in which they request.
Today, I want to talk to you a little bit about something different. Some of our doctors have asked, Why am I getting these specific requests from attorneys that say that they don’t have to pay us anything for the records? Well, you know, we’re going to talk about payment and right of access, and what the actual fees that you can charge are because they’re not the state fees. But I’ll get to that in another video. Today, I want to talk about that, right, that ability. Under the HIPAA law that covers right of access, patients have the right to not only obtain their medical records really at a substantially reduced fee, if anything at all. But also they have the right to be able to assign those records to be sent to someone else. And so attorneys have gotten a hold of this. And they are actually utilizing it to their benefit to not have to pay the state-mandated or the state-established copy fee schedule, if you will, instead, they just have to pay what CMS covers or HSS covers in regards to HIPAA. And so that that is an important distinction, yes, a patient can ask for those records to be sent under the right of access to an attorney.
But there’s also an important part of this, let’s say you’re having trouble receiving medical records, or you have a history of having problems receiving medical records from another provider or from a hospital system. And while a lot of that is because, under HIPAA, HIPAA gives allowances, so they may they’re allowed to share under these particular situations, and we talked about TPI or treatment payment or healthcare operations, but under right of access, it removes that may or shall or can and puts it into that must they must share. And in those particular cases, then those other entities that you may be having problems with and sending you medical records, for you to have better information to better be able to serve and treat your patients in your practice, then you can actually use the right of access to your benefit. Which means that ultimately you could have something ready and your patient would sign it and they would be actually officially making the request. And for that request, then for those records to be sent directly to you. So you’d be using that provision of the right of access to your benefit.
Now if you’re sitting there going well how do I do that? Well, actually, it’s not as complicated as it seems. In fact, we’ve made it even less complicated for ICS members, you’re actually able to download a template letter that you can use. It’s Word, it’s editable for your practice you key in your information and have it all set and ready to go. You ask your patients to sign it and you send it off to the entities that are holding the records that you believe are going to be important for you to be able to better treat your patients. So if you want access to that, not a problem, just go to ilchiro.org/access. That’s eye l cairo.org/access. And you’ll see a quick short article but you’ll find all the downloads right there for you to be able to pull down and begin to utilize in your practice. Hopefully, this helps you out and gives you a bit more information on right of access and the assignment of that right to third parties or to have those records sent to third parties. And we’ll catch you next week.