Patient Access of Medical Records under HIPAA - HHS Guidance and Compliance Objectives

Jim Sheldon-Dean

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This training program will provide a comprehensive look at the changes in the new access rights under HIPAA and CLIA regulations and prepare attendees for the process of incorporating the changes into how they do business in their facilities. It will also explain how the HIPAA audit and enforcement activities are now being increased and what needs to be done to survive a HIPAA audit.

Why Should You Attend:

The head of US DHHS has indicated that providing patient access to Protected Health Information is a key priority for improving the nation’s health and recent guidance from HHS provides detailed information on how best to provide information to patients within the rules. Covered entities, and particularly those that use electronic health records (EHRs), will need to meet the new access and disclosure guidance. And if you are required to have a HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, you need to make sure it shows all the rights that patients have.

2016 guidance from the HHS Office of Civil Rights will be explained, including the additional updates to the guidance, so that access can be provided according to the rules. Issues on provision and denial of access, as well as fees and other topics, will be discussed.

Medical laboratories are now required to provide individual access to test records, and will need to have processes to authenticate those who request information and the means to ensure that the correct results are provided to authenticated individuals.

HHS has issued guidance on issues relating to access of mental health records and the records of minors, clarifying what information may be provided or not, depending on the information and other circumstances. The guidance also includes information on dealing with law enforcement requests for information on alleged violators of the law. This guidance will be reviewed, as well as the relationship to rules for handling information relating to substance use disorders under 42 CFR Part 2.

The new regulations will be reviewed and their effects on usual practices will be discussed, as will what policies need to be changed and how. We will show what policies and evidence you may need to produce if your compliance is reviewed by the HHS Office of Civil Rights, which has already indicated that compliance with the rules on patient access of records is a significant problem.

The enforcement rules include a four-tier violation schedule with increased fines, and mandatory fines for willful neglect of compliance that start at over $10,000 even if the problem is corrected within 30 days of discovery. Violations that are not promptly corrected carry mandatory fines that can reach more than $1 million for any particular violation. And any reports of willful neglect are required to be investigated under the law. Even violations for a reasonable cause or with reasonable diligence taken are subject to penalty. We will discuss what is necessary to avoid penalties and make sound compliance decisions.

This Webinar will help health information professionals understand what they have to do, and when, and what to keep in mind as they move forward, in order to be in compliance with the regulations. It will provide a comprehensive look at the emphasis on the rules on access and prepare attendees for the process of incorporating any necessary changes into how they do business in their facilities.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • Learn about the access rights under HIPAA and CLIA regulations.
  • Learn about the extensive new guidance from the HHS Office of Civil Rights on access of PHI.
  • Learn about the guidance from HHS regarding access of mental health information and minors' information.
  • Find out what the regulations call for and what processes you must have in place for the proper approval and denial of access as appropriate.
  • Learn about the required process for the review of certain denials of access.
  • Learn how e-mail and texting should be handled, what can go wrong, and what can result when it does.
  • Find out about HIPAA requirements for access and patient preferences, as well as the requirements to protect PHI.
  • Learn about the training and education that must take place to ensure your staff handles access requests properly.
  • Learn about how the HIPAA audit and enforcement activities are now being increased and what you need to do to survive a HIPAA audit.

Who Will Benefit:

This webinar will provide valuable assistance to all personnel in medical offices, practice groups, hospitals, academic medical centers, insurers, business associates (shredding, data storage, systems vendors, billing services, etc). Employees who will benefit include:

  • Compliance director
  • CEO
  • CFO
  • Privacy Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Information Systems Manager
  • HIPAA Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Health Information Manager
  • Healthcare Counsel/Lawyer
  • Office Manager
  • Contracts Manager
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Speaker: Jim Sheldon-Dean,

Jim Sheldon-Dean is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a wide variety of health care entities. Sheldon-Dean serves on the HIMSS Information Systems Security Workgroup, has co-chaired the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange Privacy and Security Workgroup, and is a recipient of the WEDI 2011 Award of Merit. He is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA and information privacy and security compliance issues at seminars and conferences, including speaking engagements at numerous regional and national healthcare association conferences and conventions and the annual NIST/OCR HIPAA Security Conference in Washington, D.C. Sheldon-Dean has more than 30 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation, business process analysis, information systems and software development. His experience includes leading the development of health care related Web sites; award-winning, bestselling commercial utility software; and mission-critical, fault-tolerant communications satellite control systems. In addition, he has eight years of experience doing hands-on medical work as a Vermont certified volunteer emergency medical technician. Sheldon-Dean received his B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Vermont and his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.