HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is expected to present updates to the HIPAA Rules some time in 2023. Guidance was issued in 2022 and it is more than likely further HIPAA guidance will be issued to clear up misconceptions and false interpretation of the HIPAA requirements.
One of the biggest areas of concern will be regarding Right to Access PHI, specifically for patients’ requests to healthcare providers.
Here are some key categories to educate yourself and your organization on:
- In-person patient right to inspect their PHI which would include photos, images, videos, and medical records.
- Instead of a 30-day timeline for healthcare organizations to fulfill patients requests for their PHI, this may be reduced to a 15-day grace period, with an additional 15-day extension when requested from patients (if needed).
- Patients can request copies of their PHI to be sent to third parties in electronic format promptly, and at a reasonable cost. Healthcare providers cannot impose high fees when patients request their PHI to be sent or shared with another healthcare provider.
- The Proposed Rule would eliminate the requirement that Covered Entities obtain an individual’s signature or acknowledgment of receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP).
- New to the Rule would be a Good Faith Standard. Instead of the “Exercise of Professional Judgement” this would be replaced with “Good Faith Belief” to cover more than just a licensed practitioner, such as other team members involved in the patients’ treatment.
HIPAA compliance isn’t a one-time checklist. It’s ongoing, programmatic in nature, and requires demonstrated reasonable diligence to stay in good standing with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Anatomy IT can provide you peace of mind with our expert HIPAA compliance services. To learn more, contact us here.