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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 one article discussing HIPAA's patient access rights. In addition, there is an article pertaining to Florida law regarding patient access. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

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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