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HIPAA's Patient Access Rights What Patients & Providers Need to Know

3 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $29.00

Developed by Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

This course fulfills the Law & Ethics requirements for psychologists, social workers, MFTs, and counselors in Florida​.
Please consult with CE Broker re: how this course fulfills requirements specific to your profession.

This course is also offered as part of a HIPAA Compliance/Security & Privacy
Savings Package of 22 CE Credit Hours.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles

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General Course Description

You've just received a patient request for release of records – should you release all, a portion of the records, or withhold them? Which law(s) should you follow - state, HIPAA, both? What if the request was a subpoena for records? This course reviews information regarding releasing records to patients; from history of access rights to pro and con arguments, as well as HIPAA regulations, how HIPAA fits with state laws, and practical advice for commonly-encountered situations.

This is an intermediate level course consisting of an article discussing HIPAA's patient access rights and a Resources page for further information and study. In addition, there is an article pertaining to Florida law regarding patient access.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Explain three societal influences that led to the patient rights movement.

2.    Identify 15 reasons why patients might want a copy of their records.

3.    Recite the 6 non-appealable and 3 appealable reasons that records can be withheld.

Course Syllabus

Part 1 – Understanding the need for patient access rights

  • What is patient access?
  • The history of patient access rights
    • Traditional Practice
    • The ascendance of patient access rights
    • The patient rights movement
    • The enactment of HIPAA
    • Post-HIPAA: A continuing struggle to assert patient rights
  • Arguments pro and con
    • Arguments against patient access
    • Arguments for access
  • Why would patients need or want access to their records?
  • Why did HIPAA create a national access right?
  • The general rule - patients have a right to view, copy, & amend their records
  • How extensive is the problem of denial of patient access?
  • In what ways do providers deny access?
  • What are the effects of denying patient access to records?

Part 2 –HIPAA regulations regarding patient access and withholding records

  • Should I follow my state's laws or HIPAA?
  • When can a provider withhold records from patients?
  • What fees can a provider charge for viewing or copying the records?
  • What records are ‘super' confidential? Under what conditions can they be released?
  • What is the HIPAA process for withholding a portion of the records?
  • Are electronic records handled differently from paper records?

Part 3 – Common problems and practical advice

  • What should I do when a colleague refuses to release records?
  • What should I do when another provider refuses to release records?
  • What should I do when State laws permit withholding of patient records?
  • What should I do when State laws require withholding of patient records?
  • What should I do when I receive a subpoena for records?
  • What should I do when my doctor refuses to release my records?
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