OCR Settles Fifteenth Investigation in HIPAA Right of Access Initiative

Office for Civil Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced its fifteenth settlement of an enforcement action in its HIPAA Right of Access Initiative.  OCR announced this initiative to support individuals’ right to timely access their health records at a reasonable cost under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Renown Health, P.C., a private, not-for-profit health system in Nevada, has agreed to take corrective actions and pay $75,000 to settle a potential violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s right of access standard.

In February 2019, OCR received a complaint alleging that Renown Health failed to timely respond to a patient’s request that an electronic copy of her protected health information, including billing records, be sent to a third party.  OCR’s investigation determined that Renown Health’s failure to provide timely access to the requested records was a potential violation of the HIPAA right of access standard.  As a result of OCR’s investigation, Renown Health provided access to all of the requested records.

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“Access to one’s health records is an essential HIPAA right and health care providers have a legal obligation to their patients to provide access to their health information on a timely basis,” said Acting OCR Director Robinsue Frohboese.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Renown Health will undertake a corrective action plan that includes two years of monitoring.  A copy of the resolution agreement and corrective action plan may be found at https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/renown-health-racap.pdf.

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