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Release of information should be included in compliance monitoring

Betsy Wade (bwade@signaturehealthcarellc.com) is the Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer at Signature Healthcare in Louisville, KY.

Compliance monitoring of release of protected health information and any fees that are being charged could help prevent healthcare providers from being fined and receiving a resolution agreement from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.

The Office for Civil Rights announced its HIPAA Right of Access Initiative in 2019.[1] As of May 2022, the federal agency had resolved 27 cases with fines up to $200,000.[2] Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, individuals have the right to access their protected health information residing in a designated record set at a reasonable cost within 30 days of the healthcare provider’s receipt of a valid request, or within 60 days if an extension is applicable.[3] Failure to provide patients access to their protected health information can violate HIPAA.

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