News Briefs Archive

New Findings: How Hard Is It for Your Patients to Access Their Own Health Data?

Nov. 20, 2019

This past summer, Ciitizen, a startup founded in 2017 that develops tools to help patients access, manage and share their medical records, launched its Patient Record Scorecard, which assesses providers nationwide and assigns them a score – one to five stars – on how well they complied with patients rights regarding their health data, according to reporting by Mike Miliard in Healthcare IT News.

Last week, Miliard reports, Ciitizen released a new version of the scorecard, which includes updated scores for the first round of graded providers, plus an assessment of 150 new ones – bringing the total to 210 providers, scored between February and September of 2019.

The star ratings are labeled accordingly:
Non-HIPAA compliant
HIPAA compliant: Substantial intervention
HIPAA compliant: Minimal intervention
HIPAA compliant: Seamless process
HIPAA compliant: Patient focused

The scores are “based on the response of healthcare providers to one or more actual records requests submitted by patients (the patients request that their information be sent directly to Ciitizen in order to be populated into their Ciitizen personal record accounts),” according to the company’s methodology.

In a blog post, the company unpacked some of the findings. While more than half (51 percent) of the providers it scored are still non-compliant with HIPAA Right of Access – or else needed “significant intervention to become compliant,” the good news is that the number of health systems “providing access or exceeding HIPAA’s requirements appears to be increasing.”

Its data shows that the number of providers “delivering seamless access to patient records” increased from 30 percent to 40 percent.

But big challenges still exist, notably that too many providers still fail to send records in the form and format requested by the patient, and the fact, says Ciitizen, that “when we decreased follow-up calls to medical records departments, it took them longer, often over the 30-day HIPAA limit, to send records.”

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