Confidentiality, Privacy and Security

Hi-Tech and Third Parties

  • 1.  Hi-Tech and Third Parties

    Posted 27 days ago
    Good morning,

    In light of the recent court ruling and decision that third parties are not subject to reduced fees per HiTech (which is WONDERFUL!), our release of information team is starting to see some shady practices put in place by attorney's offices who do not want to pay fees associated with reproduction of the record.  For example, we have discovered that a frequent requester of ours has opened a new PO Box account, but when they send in the request, it indicates that it is from the patient, in the patient's voice, and that this is the patient's PO Box address.  Further, they list that they would like records to come to their email address at "emailmemyrecords.com".  Obviously, we started noticing a trend because not everyone can have the same email address.  They omit that it is actually going to the attorney's office anywhere in the correspondence.

    My question is this: Has anyone else experienced something similar, and what has your organization done about it.

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    Jamie Glenn
    Corporate Him Director; ROIand Data Integrity
    Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare
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  • 2.  RE: Hi-Tech and Third Parties

    Posted 27 days ago
    Jamie...thanks so much for sharing!

    This doesn't surprise me at all.  I still can picture letters from law firms demanding all of the records for a patient with a check for $6.50 and a statement that the provider cannot charge any more than $6.50 for the records and if they try to charge more, threats of an OCR complaint, etc, etc. etc...

    I have not seen what you describe, but now after reading your post...I am going to alert others so that they can be aware of what is going on.

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    Frank Ruelas
    Compliance Professional
    Arizona
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  • 3.  RE: Hi-Tech and Third Parties

    Posted 27 days ago
    Thank you!

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    Jamie Glenn
    Corporate Him Director; Roi and Data Integrity
    Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare
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  • 4.  RE: Hi-Tech and Third Parties

    Posted 27 days ago

    Jamie,

     

    I have not been aware of this occurring at my employer but I have reached out to the HIM folks and will let you know what they tell me.

     

    Donna Coomes, MBA, RHIA, CHC, CHPS, CHDA, CPHI, CPHQ, CCS

    Sr. Director of Compliance and HIPAA Compliance Officer

    Tel: 423-302-3401  Email: donna.coomes@balladhealth.org

    Ballad Health

     

    "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much"

         -Helen Keller

     






  • 5.  RE: Hi-Tech and Third Parties

    Posted 27 days ago
    Thank you!

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    Jamie Glenn
    Corporate Him Director; Roi and Data Integrity
    Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare
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  • 6.  RE: Hi-Tech and Third Parties

    Posted 26 days ago

    Yes, we are starting to see "patient directed requests" where they are requesting their records to be sent to them, however, they include a check from the attorney for $6.50.  We are charging the patient the cost for postage, the flash drive, and labor cost to download the records to the device.  I do not certify these records. 

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     






  • 7.  RE: Hi-Tech and Third Parties

    Posted 26 days ago
    Thanks for sharing.  From a HIPAA perspective as some States have various rules on what they can and cannot charge for and in what amounts...I do believe organizations are revisiting their processes on charging patients for records.

    When you consider some patients during the COVID-19 pandemic could be very intensive in terms of scope of services received, it is not unlikely to see patients that have a medical record for a single COVID-19 length of stay (which can range up to weeks in length) and result in over 5000 pages of records.  I know in the "old" days...many organizations would not charge patients, but I think due to various factors, times are changing.

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    Frank Ruelas
    Compliance Professional
    Arizona
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