MGMA: Proposed HIPAA Disclosures Rule 'Unworkable'
Another element revealed by the MGMA survey is that patients apparently aren't clamoring to get information of this kind all that often. When asked how many patient requests for disclosure they received in the last 12 months, 65% said zero to 1 per physician.
Indeed, hospitals have echoed their concerns. For example, Paula A. Bussard, Senior Vice President for Policy & Regulatory Services for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania wrote:
"To comply with specific obligations for providing an access report, hospitals would need, for example, to disclose the identity of employees who are acting in perfectly appropriate ways—doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing—to any patient who makes a request. It is difficult to understand exactly what privacy benefit to patients supplying employees’ names in these circumstances serves."
The American College of Physicians, whose members include 132,000 internists, also called the proposal "onerous."
"We believe the proposed rules as written will have the unintended negative consequence of reducing the clinically appropriate and necessary sharing of PHI with adverse impact on patient care quality and safety," wrote Michael H. Zaroukian, MD, Chairman of the ACP's Medical Informatics Committee.
"Providers will likely resort to printing and handing records to patients for them to deliver to other providers rather than having to explain cryptic listings of record accesses in a log file."
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