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News Briefs: October 7, 2019

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has investigations underway around the country in support of its Right of Access Initiative under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, says Rachel Seeger, OCR senior advisor for public affairs and outreach. “The right of an individual to obtain their medical records is fundamental to informed health care decisions and better health care outcomes. OCR has issued regulations, guidance, and training, and has provided technical assistance to covered entities and the public in support of this right. However, OCR continues to receive a large volume of complaints alleging violations of the HIPAA right of access,” she tells RMC. The initiative was announced in February, and in September, OCR announced that Bayfront Health St. Petersburg in Florida paid $85,000 and adopted a corrective action plan in a resolution agreement to settle a potential violation of HIPAA’s right of access provision, which requires covered entities to give patients their records within 30 days.[1]

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