Client Update: OCR’s 2019 Right of Access Initiative Bears First Fruit

Hospital Agrees to Pay $85,000 for Failure to Provide Patient Timely Access to Records

On September 9, 2019, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced its first settlement under its “Right of Access Initiative.” Without admitting any wrongdoing, a hospital has agreed to pay $85,000 to the United States Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) as a result of a 10-month delay in providing access to protected health information (“PHI”). Importantly, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) requires covered entities to “act on” requests for access within 30 days of a request. The hospital also entered into a Corrective Action Plan (“CAP”) that required the hospital to implement, and train staff on, policies and procedures to ensure individuals have timely access to their requested PHI. Click here to read the full update.