Provide Timely Medical Records or Risk $85K HIPAA Penalty

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Provide Timely Medical Records or Risk $85K HIPAA Penalty

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Medical Records HIPAA Access Penaltty

You must be vigilant in timely releasing patient medical records or face $85,000 in penalties. That’s the amount fined to the second provider since fines began in 2019. In December, Korunda Medical, LLC in Florida was fined $85,000 for slow-walking a patient’s medical records.

This is the second enforcement action and settlement leveraged by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for violating its HIPAA Right of Access Initiative. Korunda is a primary care and pain management clinic serving approximately 2,000 patients annually.

Medical Records HIPAA Access Penalty Avoidance Must Do

To avoid a hefty fine, here are the three things you must do when providing medical records:

  1. Provide medical records promptly – within 30 days of request
  2. Without overcharging for copies
  3. In the readily producible format of the requestee’s choice

What Korunda Did Wrong with Medical Records HIPAA Access

The patient requested the medical record be forwarded in electronic format to a third party. Korunda failed to provide the records in a timely manner, did not provide them in the format requested and charged more than the HIPAA-allowed fees.

To make matters worse, after a complaint had been filed to the OCR and the OCR advised Korunda on how to fix the situation, Korunda failed to provide the records. In response to a second complaint and OCR’s intervention, Korunda provided the records free of charge two months after the request.

Beware: Vigorous Enforcement Promised for Medical Records HIPAA 

The OCR has pledged to vigorously enforce patient medical records access rights. Expect complaints to be met swiftly and with financial punity. “For too long, healthcare providers have slow-walked their duty to provide patients their medical records out of a sleepy bureaucratic inertia.

We hope our shift to the imposition of corrective actions and settlements under our Right of Access Initiative will finally wake up healthcare providers to their obligations under the law,” said Roger Severino, OCR Director.

Read more about the settlement, corrective action plan including monitoring at https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/12/12/ocr-settles-second-case-in-hipaa-right-of-access-initiative.html


Commonly Purchased Online Medical Records Resources


Meet Your Writer

Jen Godreau
CPC, CPMA, CPEDC, COPC, AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS Approved Trainer

Content Director

Jen Godreau, CPC, CPMA, CPEDC, COPC, AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS Approved Trainer is an expert in practice management, billing and coding, and revenue cycle management, and brings almost 20 years of experience to the content team at Training Leader. Prior to joining Training Leader, Jen led implementations of EMRs and revenue cycle management services including credentialing. She has led teams who have created numerous software programs and tools for compliance, coding, and auditing. Her passion for all things compliance and coding has filled thousands of articles and allowed her to provide practice management consulting and due diligence for hundreds of practices.

Jen's advocacy led to the overturning of neonatology supervision restrictions, creation of new CPT ENT codes, and winning of Medicare monitoring auditing contracts. She wrote the diagnosis study guide for AAPC's Certified Otolaryngology Coder (CENTC) exam and edited the AAPC Professional Medical Coding Curriculum.

Jen has a Bachelor of Arts from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She became a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) in 2001, added her designation as a Certified Pediatric Coder (CPEDC) in 2009, became a Certified Medical Coding Auditor (CPMA) in 2010, and a Certified Ophthalmology Professional Coder (COPC) in 2017. She is an AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS approved trainer.

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