For the First Time Ever, HIPAA Right of Access Initiative Settlement Announced by OCR

In 2019, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) said they would be vigorously enforcing the rights of patients to receive copies of their medical records promptly without being overcharged.  Now, in September 2019, OCR announced its first enforcement action and settlement in the Right of Access Initiative. 

According to OCR, Bayfront Health has paid $85,000 to OCR and has adopted a corrective action  plan including one year of monitoring by OCR, to settle a potential violation of the right of access provision of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules after Bayfront failed to provide a mother timely access to records about her unborn child.  

OCR mentions in their announcement that the investigation was initiated based on a complaint from the mother. It turns out the individual was not provided the requested health information until more than nine months after the initial request. 

This settlement is an important reminder of the HIPAA Rules requirements that generally healthcare providers are required to provide medical records within 30 days of the request and providers can only charge a reasonable cost-based fee. This right to patient records extends to parents who seek medical information about their minor children, and in this case, a mother who sought prenatal health records about her child.

Have additional questions about the Right of Access Initiative? Feel free to contact us today by email: [email protected] or by phone: 855-427-0427.

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