News Briefs Archive

New Research: How Many Providers Are Fully Compliant with HIPAA Access Requirements?

August 21, 2019

More than half of providers sampled in a recent study failed to comply with the HIPAA right of access, according to research published on medRxiv, a free online archive for unpublished health-related manuscripts.

The study has not been peer-reviewed, according to reporting by Shannon Muchmore on Healthcare Dive.

The most common problem was providers not sending health records via e-mail when patients requested them. About a quarter were also potentially non-compliant with the health privacy law’s fee limitations.

The average wait for responses ranged from one to 26 days, with eight days being the average. More than 70 percent of requests would not have been fulfilled pursuant to HIPAA without some form of intervention, such as educating staff members on the law or calling supervisors.

The study authors said while efforts to digitize medical records and let patients access to information through their phone or a patient portal are ongoing, “it will be years before seamless digital access by patients to all of their health information is a reality.”

“In the meantime, requests to medical records departments (and radiology) will still be required to enable patients to amass all of their health information. It is critical that these processes be compliant with HIPAA and responsive to patient needs,” the study’s authors said.

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