The HHS’ OCR continues to step up its enforcement surrounding the HIPAA right of access, announcing its eleventh right of access fine this year. More details on the OCR right of access fine are discussed below. 

Dr. Rajendra Bhayani Hit with Latest OCR Right of Access Fine

OCR right of access fine

Dr. Rajendra Bhayani, an otolaryngologist that runs a private practice in Rego Park, NY, has agreed to pay a $15,000 OCR right of access fine to settle a potential HIPAA violation. But what led to the HIPAA settlement?

In July 2018, a patient of Dr. Bhayani requested copies of her medical records. By September 2018, she had not received her requested records, so she filed a complaint with OCR. As a result of the complaint, OCR provided Dr. Bhayani with technical assistance to comply with the record request.

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Although OCR provided Dr. Bhayani with assistance, by July 2019, the patient still had not received her records and issued a second complaint. Upon investigation into the incident, OCR found that Dr. Bhayani had failed to comply with the right of access standard, which requires healthcare providers to provide patients with requested records within 30 days of the request. 

After the completion of the OCR investigation, the patient finally received her requested record in September 2020. In addition to the fine, Dr. Bhayani has agreed to adopt a corrective action plan, and is subject to two years of OCR monitoring.

“Doctor’s offices, large and small, must provide patients their medical records in a timely fashion. We will continue to prioritize HIPAA Right of Access cases for enforcement until providers get the message,” said Roger Severino, OCR Director.

To read more about the HIPAA settlement and fine, please click here.

OCR Right of Access Fines

As mentioned above, this is the eleventh right of access fine announced this year. OCR began prioritizing right of access settlements in 2019, and states that it will continue to do so until providers take the right of access requirements seriously. There are several pending right of access investigations, which makes it likely that we will hear about more of these fines in the coming months.

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