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AHA: Drop HIPAA Access Report Provision

Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, August 3, 2011

Federal regulators are “misguided” in their proposed HIPAA disclosures rule, disregarding what Congress intended through HITECH and failing to balance patient privacy rights with the technological capabilities of providers, the American Hospital Association (AHA) says in a letter released Monday.

The letter, submitted to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), calls on the federal regulators to “significantly alter” their approach in the “HIPAA Privacy Rule Accounting of Disclosures under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.” The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register May 31.

Chiefly, AHA wants the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces the HIPAA privacy and security rules under HHS, to withdraw from the rule its new “access report” provision; through the proposed provision, patients can request an accounting of who accessed their electronic health information in a designated record set, for any reason. It covers both uses and disclosures.

As the government tries to reduce administrative costs in healthcare—through health reform and new financial incentives to become a “meaningful user” of electronic health records (EHR)—the access report right is a step back, AHA says.

“The proposal … is misguided and does not appropriately balance the relevant privacy interests of individuals with the burdens that will be imposed on covered entities, including hospitals,” the AHA writes in the letter. “The proposal is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the value to individuals of receiving the particular information that the access report would capture, as well as a misunderstanding about the capabilities of technologies available to and used by covered entities.”

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3 comments on "AHA: Drop HIPAA Access Report Provision"


JS (9/25/2011 at 12:44 PM)
I can second what Ms. Adams says: It's only the crooks who don't want transparency. I have a family member who works in health care, who we KNOW has had her own medical records accessed by UNAUTHORIZED personnel. She requested an audit. After 6 months, she has still not got the results of the audit. Instead, she got fired from her job 2 months after requesting the audit. If you work in health care, pay extra and get all your own health care needs OUTSIDE the network.

LindaJoyAdams (8/7/2011 at 7:43 PM)
My comment was posted for a short time then taken down that included only documented factual information. Today you have an ACS ad attached. Didn't realize i was ' blowing the whistle on ACS' and the horrible, unconstitutional behavior, and life threatening treatment I have received at their hands. Linda Joy Adams

Linda Joy Adams (8/5/2011 at 12:28 PM)
Conflicts of interest are rampant. one has the right to know who or what entity is accessing ones records. All one has to do is provide an e- mail address and one is notified via it. one major international company is in control of most federal and state agencies and in my case is refusing to even post my established federal workers comp case. They took over management and billing for my pulmonologist's clinic and hospital and major obstructions to medical care began to happen. One has a right to know is ones very right to life sustaining medical is being obstructed and ones doctor is ' caught in between practicing medicine and their ' corporate bosses.' In 2014, when this major company regulates everyone's health care plan as a contractor of Office of personnel management, ' everyone' will know that the federal health plans that look good on paper have been full of abuses of power and unfortunate early deaths. Govt contractors were given immunity from internal audits by Congress and can't be investigated or prosecuted for criminal activity of even the grossest of thefts and intentional ' death panel' decisions. Dr. Berwick , the director of Medicare began addressing these terrible abuses as soon as he was appointed. Despite whether one agrees with his politics; he has this right/ The only ones not wanting the ' transparency' are the ' bad guys/' A Congressional study of 4 years ago on wrongful death malpractice suits pointed to the altering of the diagnosis codes from what your doctor sent in as a major cause of fatal medical mistakes. often diagnosis codes are changed to circumvent workers comp and other liability cases in order to ' collude' to have Medicare pay the bills. This fraudulent alteration gets on the national health insurance data base, a govt contractor not subject to HIPPAA and can't get corrected. Increasingly this is being used for medical history in emergency rooms and other medical visits, insurance companies and even for credit checks, govt benefit programs, etc. When wrong info gets out it can be threaten life and livelihood as well as your doctor's professional reputation/ These regulations are badly needed. The life that's saved may be your own. HHS Civil rights complaints and contract compliance complaints already pending on this from my personal, well documented , life threatening from abuses that can't get stopped due to govt contractors not under HIPPAA. Only the ' crooks' don't want you to know and start filing complaints to end the abuses. Linda Joy Adams