June 14, 2011 — The Department of Health and Human Services recently proposed an amendment to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The amendment would allow patients to receive a report indicating when organizations and individuals have accessed their medical records, or Protected Health Information (PHI).
Currently, healthcare organizations are required to track access to electronic PHI, but are not obligated to share their findings with a patient.
“This proposed rule represents an important step in our continued efforts to promote accountability across the healthcare system, ensuring that providers properly safeguard private health information,” said Office of Civil Rights Director Georgina Verdugo. “We need to protect peoples’ rights so that they know how their health information has been used or disclosed.”
Penalties of up to $50,000 could be imposed on companies, doctors, or hospitals that disclose PHI without the patient’s permission or knowledge. To review the proposed amendment, please click here.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, www.acatoday.org