[Posting on behalf of @Kim Sherwood]Good afternoon, I am seeking guidance on a situation that has been presented to me by my medical records department. I work for a substance abuse treatment facility in Maryland. We have received a faxed request from a federal agency for medical records on a previous patient. The release provided has been signed by the patient. My question is does anyone have a protocol/policy in place to adhere to such a request? Is there a certain federal requirement that mandates this type of request? Any guidance anyone has will be greatly appreciated.
Kim Sherwood, M.S.M.Compliance Manager
My question would be, if you have a signed release from the patient, why wouldn't you provide them with the requested records?
Becky Kilen, MS, RHIA, CHPS
GHS Privacy Officer | Manager of Privacy
GUNDERSEN HEALTH SYSTEM
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SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Hope this helps. Best regards.
I'm not that involved in ROI, but you may want to review SAMSHA.The FR issued a ruling August 2020:https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/07/15/2020-14675/confidentiality-of-substance-use-disorder-patient-recordsHope this can help you. When it comes to substance abuse and mental health records, I would think their sensitivity have specific protocols to follow that are more strict than medical records. SAMSHA sections 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2(b), (c) and (f)I would suspect or hope that the entity who receives a fax would have a specific policy forbidding faxed receipt for a patient's medical record that includes substance abuse howbeit the patient signed it.Good Luck!