Patient's Rights Under the HITECH Act.

Under the HITECH Act and its implementing regulations, patients have the right to obtain access to their electronic Protected Health Information (PHI). Patients need to know and understand the records retrieval process and must be able to answer the following questions from their medical providers or Release of Information partners.

Did you sign your request for records? It's this your electronic signature?

YES, IS MY DIGITAL SIGNATURE. Our members must electronically sign their HITECH Request. You may be contacted by your medical provider to validate your electronic signature. To avoid any inconvenience, you must instruct them to deliver your medical records directly to your HITECH Request portal. If you are retrieving your medical records for a personal injury or social security claim, we will securely deliver your Protected Health Information (PHI) to your legal represantative or disability claims examiner. Your medical provider is obligated under the HITECH Act to honor your request, and you SHOULD INSIST THEY DO SO.

Why do you need to send your records to HITECH Request?

BECAUSE IS MY RIGHT OF ACCESS. I choose HITECH Request as my designated representative and the recipient of my Private Health Information. It's my RIGHT OF ACCESS as your patient to have my Private Health Information sent directly to any entity of my choice. See 45 CFR 164.524(c)(3)(ii) "If requested by a patient, a medical provider must transmit the patient’s PHI directly to another entity designated by the patient. The request must be in writing, signed by the patient, and clearly identify the designated entity and where to send the PHI."

Why do you need your medical records?

FOR MY PERSONAL USE. It will only complicate the release of your medical records if you mention any other purpose for your request when speaking to your medical provider or any third party. You must let them know to follow the instructions on your HITECH Request. Your records must be deliver to your HITECH Request portal. They have three different secure options (UPLOAD, FAX and EMAIL) in how to comply with your HITECH Request. Under the HITECH Act medical providers have NO RIGHT to know your private business.

PROTECT your Rights from Medical Providers.

Reports Source can act as your shield against medical provider violations. Most medical offices overcharge for copies of records, or otherwise violate patient's rights under HIPAA and HITECH Act. Those laws are in place to protect your privacy rights, and we are here to help you enforce them.

What is the cost of records under the HITECH Act?

Under the HITECH Act a medical provider may charge a patient a flat fee not to exceed $6.50, for a request for electronic records. This fee includes all cost for labor, supplies, and any applicable postage. This fee only applies when the patient has requested that the electronic copy be provided on portable media, such as CD or USB drive; and it’s only to cover the cost of supplies and postage. This fee may not include costs associated with verification, documentation, searching for and retrieving the PHI, maintaining systems, recouping capital for data access, storage, or infrastructure, or other costs, even if such costs are authorized by State law. See 45 CFR §164.524(c)(4).

My doctor states that my records are not digital. What can I do?

While a medical facility is not required to purchase a scanner to create electronic copies, if a covered entity can readily produce an electronic copy of the PHI for the patient by scanning the records, it must do so. Where a patient requests an electronic copy of PHI that a covered entity maintains only on paper, the medical facility is required to provide the patient with an electronic copy if it is readily producible electronically (e.g., the medical facility can readily scan the paper record into an electronic format) and in the electronic format requested if readily producible in that format. Email and fax are generally considered readily producible. See CFR §164.524(c)(2)(i).

What can I do if my doctor ignored my HITECH Request?

Some medical providers might ignore your HITECH Request, and therefore will violate your rights. In these cases, we can help you file violation notices with the Office for Civil Rights as well as the State Attorney General and the State Medical Board if your medical provider refuses to provide the copies you are legally entitled to access. You must be willing to file violations notices because if your medical provider is violating your rights, you may not be able to retrieve the records that you are legally entitled to receive.

There are substantial monetary fines and penalties for failing to comply with the HITECH Act. The Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services can investigate complaints and levy fines for violation of the Act. If a healthcare provider is found to have “willfully neglected” a provision or provisions of the Act, the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services will impose mandatory fines of up to $250,000 and up to $1.5 million for repeat or uncorrected violations. See CFR §164.524(d).

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