The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced its thirteenth right of access fine, bringing the 2020 fine total to eighteen fines. The HIPAA right of access enforcement is discussed below.

$36,000 Fine Issued Under HIPAA Right of Access Enforcement

Peter Wrobel, M.D., P.C., also known as Elite Primary Care, has agreed to a HIPAA settlement to settle right of access violations. The HIPAA settlement includes a $36,000 HIPAA fine, a corrective action plan, and two years of monitoring by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). 

So what happened?

HIPAA Right of Access Enforcement

In April 2019, a patient issued a complaint with the OCR, after Elite failed to respond to the patient’s request for access to his medical records. The OCR then provided Elite with technical assistance in May 2019 so that they may comply with the request. However, in October 2019, OCR received a second complaint that the patient had still not received his requested records.

As a result of the complaints, OCR launched an investigation into Elite, and determined that they had potentially violated the HIPAA right of access. As a result of the investigation, the patient finally received his requested records in May 2020, more than a year after his initial request.

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HIPAA Seal of Compliance

In response to HIPAA right of access enforcement, OCR Director Roger Severino stated,

“OCR created the Right of Access Initiative to address the many instances where patients have not been given timely access to their medical records. Health care providers, large and small, must ensure that individuals get timely access to their health records, and for a reasonable cost-based fee.”

To read more about the latest HIPAA right of access enforcement, please click here.

HIPAA Right of Access Enforcement in 2020

In addition to the latest HIPAA right of access fine, there were several other fines issued in 2020 for failing to provide patients timely access to their medical records.