HHS issues penalties to 11 healthcare organizations for records access violations

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights issued financial penalties to 11 HIPAA-covered entities that have failed to provide patients with timely access to their medical records. 

The latest batch of penalties brings the total number of financial penalties imposed under the HIPAA Right of Access enforcement initiative up to 38, according to a July 15 press release from HHS. 

The healthcare organizations hit with financial penalties:

  • ACPM Podiatry (Peoria, Ill.) failed to provide a former patient with his requested medical records, despite multiple requests from the patient and from OCR. It paid $100,000 to settle the violation.

  • Associated Retina Specialists (New York City) failed to provide a patient with a copy of her medical records until three days after OCR initiated its investigation and nearly five months after the complainant's first written request. It paid $22,500 to settle the violation.

  • Lawrence Bell Jr., D.D.S. ( Baltimore) failed to provide timely access to a patient's medical record. The practice paid $5,000 to settle the violation.

  • Coastal Ear, Nose, and Throat (Ormond Beach, Fla.) failed to provide timely access to medical records after multiple requests for the records from a patient. It paid $20,000 to settle the violation.

  • Danbury Psychiatric Consultants (Boston) failed to respond in a timely manner to a complainant's access request and paid $3,500 to settle its violation.

  • Erie County Medical Center Corporation (Buffalo, N.Y.), a public benefit corporation that operates Erie County Medical Center, failed to provide an individual with a complete copy of his medical records in a timely manner. It paid $50,000 to settle its violation.

  • Fallbrook Family Health Center (Lincoln, Neb.) failed to provide timely access to medical records and paid $30,000 to settle its violation.

  • Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation (Pittsfield, Mass.) failed to provide an individual's personal representative with timely access to her son's medical records and paid $55,000 to settle its violation.
     
  • MelroseWakefield Healthcare (Melrose, Mass.) did not provide a personal representative with timely access to medical records on the mistaken basis that the durable power of attorney in this instance did not allow for the provision of such medical records. It paid $55,000 to settle its violation.

  • Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston) failed to respond in a timely manner to a complainant's access request and paid $240,000 to settle its violation.

  • Southwest Surgical Associates (Houston) failed to provide an individual timely access to their health information and paid $65,000 to settle its violation. 

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