HIPAA and Patient Access of Records - New Rules, New Guidance from HHS

Duration: 90 Minutes
Instructor: Jim Sheldon Dean
Webinar Id: 800799


One Attendee
Unlimited Attendees ?


HHS has issued new detailed guidance on the appropriate provision of access to individuals' PHI in response to widespread complaints of noncompliance by the public and significant lapses in compliance discovered in prior HIPAA audit and enforcement activity.

  • Changes modifying the HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations have gone into place to meet the privacy and security mandates within the HITECH Act in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as implemented in the HIPAA Omnibus Update rule published January 25, 2013, and the recent changes to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. Covered entities that use electronic health records (EHRs) will need to meet new access and disclosure rules. And if you are required to have a HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, that mus properly reflect the new rights that patients have.
  • 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 recently issued guidance on issues relating to access of mental health records, clarifying what information may be provided or not, depending on the information and other circumstances.
  • 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 you are audited 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 that is likely to be a focus of the new HIPAA Audits in 2015.
  • Not only are the compliance rules changed, but the enforcement rules have changed, with a new four-tier violation schedule with increased minimum and maximum fines, and mandatory fines for willful neglect of compliance that start at $10,000 even if the problem is corrected within 30 days of discovery. Violations that are not promptly corrected carry mandatory minimum fines starting at $50,000 and can reach $1.5 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 new regulations. It will provide a comprehensive look at the changes in the rules on access and prepare attendees for the process of incorporating the changes into how they do business in their facilities.

Why should you Attend:
  • Patient rights under HIPAA include several new rights of access, and new guidance has been issued on access, in addition to recent guidance on access of mental health records and the records of minors. These changes must be respected by entities subject to the HIPAA rules through modifications to policies and notices, and training of staff to reflect the new requirements.
  • The HIPAA Omnibus Update rules contain numerous changes to HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification rules, including some having to do with patient access of records that will need to be reflected in every health care-related organization’s policies and procedures. Several policies and procedures will need to be reviewed and updated to meet the new requirements.
  • Patients also now have new rights under HIPAA and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to directly access test results from the laboratories creating the data. Many labs that did not deal directly with patients before will now have to create patient-facing operations, and how they communicate sensitive results to patients will need to be considered.
  • HIPAA now provides for individual rights to receive electronic copies of records held electronically, new rights to access laboratory test results, and new explanations from HHS about how to treat access to mental health information, including giving due consideration to patient requests and safety issues of the patient and others.
  • The HIPAA Audits of 2012 revealed that providing the proper paitent access to information is asignificant compliance problem, and the new HIPAA Audit program by HHS is expected to include reviews of patient access polices and practices.
  • All HIPAA-covered providers need to review their HIPAA compliance, policies, and procedures to see if they are prepared to meet the changes in the rules. Compliance is required and violations for willful neglect of the rules begin at $10,000. The enforcement rules have changed, with a new four-tier violation schedule with increased minimum and maximum fines.

Areas Covered in the Session:
  • Learn about the new HHS guidance on appropriate provision of access of PHI by individuals.
  • Learn about the new access rights under HIPAA and CLIA regulations.
  • 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 apporpriate.
  • 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:
  • Compliance director
  • CEO
  • CFO
  • Privacy Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Information Systems Manager
  • HIPAA Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Health Information Manager
  • Healthcare Counsel/lawyer
  • Office Manager

Speaker Profile
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, best-selling 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.

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