You must be vigilant in timely releasing patient medical records or face $85,000 in penalties. That’s the amount fined to the second group this year. 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:
- Provide medical records promptly – within 30 days of request
- Without overcharging for copies
- 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 Trainings and Resources