Rights of the Patients According to HIPAA

According to HIPAA, a patient can see and receive copies of their medical and other health records upon request. It provides the individuals with necessary information concerning the state of their health and to be aware of the decisions made by the doctors. Due to modern technologies, patients can access the records electronically. The information can also be received by an individual’s representative, although in any case the person’s identity should be confirmed.

Individuals have a right to see and receive a “designated recorded set”, which includes different groups of documents, 30 days after the request. First, these are billing records and medical records concerning the patients. Second, the set includes the information on enrollment, payment, claims, as well as medical management and case record systems maintained by or for a health plan. Third, it includes the records that are used to “make decisions about any individuals”. It does not matter whether the information was used to make a decision upon providing access to a particular person or not.

In general, the information that can be obtained by individuals upon request includes a wide range of data. For example, patients can receive their medical records, clinical test results, and medical images, such as X-rays. They also can request clinical case notes, wellness and disease management program files, insurance information, and all information that was used for making decisions concerning the patient. However, the medical entity does not have to provide additional information which did not exist before the request such as explanatory materials or analyses.

Individuals do not have access to the information that was not used for making a decision upon them. For example, such data can include patient safety activity records, certain quality assessments, or business development and planning records. In general, the information restricted to patients’ access can be divided into two major categories. The first category includes personal notes for the patients’ mental health, which are kept separately from other patients’ records. The second category includes the information that is involved in administrative, criminal, and civil proceedings.

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