5 providers settle HIPAA violation allegations

The federal government settled five HIPAA violation investigations with healthcare providers for a total of $136,500.

The Office for Civil Rights at HHS announced the following settlements on Sept. 15:

1. Beth Israel Lahey Health Behavioral Services agreed to pay $70,000 to settle potential HIPAA violations related to an April 2019 complaint that an individual was unable to access her father's medical records. The OCR determined BILHBS potentially violated HIPAA's right of access standard for medical records by not providing the medical records.

2. Housing Works, a New York City-based nonprofit organization providing healthcare and other services to in-need individuals, will pay $38,000 after a June 2019 complaint alleged the organization failed to provide an individual a copy of his medical records. A second complaint was filed against the organization in August by the same individual, who eventually received his medical records in November 2019.

3. All Inclusive Medical Services, a multispecialty family medicine clinic based in Carmichael, Calif., agreed to pay $15,000 after a January 2018 complaint alleged it refused to give a patient her medical records. The patient received her records in August 2020.

4. Wise Psychiatry, a Colorado-based psychiatric services provider, agreed to pay $10,000 after not providing a personal representative of a minor patient access to her son's medical records in 2017. That complaint was eventually closed in April 2018, but the OCR received a second complaint in October 2018 that the individual still did not receive access to her son's medical records; she eventually received the records in May 2019.

5. King MD, a psychiatric services provider in Virginia, agreed to pay $3,500 after the OCR received a complaint in October 2018 that it did not respond to a patient's request for medical records access. The agency received another complaint in February 2019 that the individual still didn't have access to the medical records; the medical records were eventually received in July 2020.

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