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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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Digital Record Denied

Resolved Question:

I'm a PA (physician assistant), and suffered a brain injury. My surgeon (my employer) contacted my neurologist, who documented in my chart that he wanted to talk about my case to direct some testing he thought I should have. I was later terminated b/c I was unable to return to work. I suspect that he also looked through my records at the hospital. When I asked for a digital record of everyone who has had access of my record I've been put off and reassured there has been no breech as my concerns were taken "seriously and that they conducted a thorough review which included a complete audit of my medical record" and I've been told that "every employee that accessed my medical record had a business need to do so, and that at no time was there a breach of confidentiality or HIPAA." I'd like to know how this individual, i.e. Recovery Audit Control Coordinator, knows who "every employee" that is involved in my care is? And why I am denied the list of these individuals? I believe in the bill of patient rights, I have a right to a copy of my medical record, this being a copy of those who have had access to the record as well. Thank you.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the circumstances you've described. So that I may better assist, please clarify: what is your actual question that you'd like assistance with? What information are you seeking from JustAnswer?

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do I have a legal right to the digital record of all those who have logged into my chart? And can I have a copy of it? This is what I really want to know. I don't want someone telling me that there was no breech, they have no idea that I suspect my former employer who is on staff there. They did ask me who I was looking for & I told them I did not was not at liberty to divulge that information.
Thank you again.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have spoken to the Recovery Audit Control Coordinator this morning and she said she now needs to run my request by their attorney. She continues to want to know why I want this information. I told her it's part of my medical record and I should be entitled to it, especial in lieu of her statement that "at no time was there a breach of confidentiality" then turning the information over to me of those who had access to my record should not be a problem. I'm still waiting to hear back......

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the follow-up.

As you know, HIPAA's Privacy Rule grants every individual a "right of access" -- to inspect and obtain a copy of all protected health information within the designated record set maintained by the covered entity.

However, the identity of those who accessed your records is not your protected health information.

Now, let me be clear. Reviews of denials must be performed by a licensed health care professional who is designated by the covered entity to act as a reviewing official and who did not participate in the original decision to deny. This is why they are now running your request by their attorney. The covered entity is bound by the reviewer's determination. The attorney can grant your request if they want to. There's nothing that prohibits them from sharing that information if they want to.

However, if the attorney also denies your request, you are still free to appeal the institution's determination by complaining to DHHS. This is where you would go to file your complaint with DHHS:

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience: Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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