Health Information Management

Understand the difference between an accounting of disclosures and an access report

HIM-HIPAA Insider, August 30, 2011

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

The long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) required by HITECH for accounting of disclosures includes some anticipated changes and some surprises. HHS published the NPRM, formally titled the “HIPAA Privacy Rule Accounting of Disclosures Under the HITECH Act,” in the May 31 Federal Register.

The HITECH Act expands an individual’s right to request an accounting of disclosures of his or her health record. The proposed rule, for which the public comment period closed August 1, includes two separate rights for patients:
  • The right to an access report
  • The right to an accounting of disclosures
Adam Greene, JD, MPH, Esq., of the Washington, DC, office of Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, spoke about the proposed rule during the June 7 AHIMA audio seminar, “Proposed Regulations for Accounting of
Disclosures.”
 
During the audio conference, he explained how an access report and an accounting of disclosures differ. An access report is focused on who has seen a patient’s PHI, he says. In contrast, an accounting of disclosures is focused on why a covered entity shared information outside the organization, he says.
 
If finalized, healthcare organizations will need to develop a process to respond to both types of requests and ensure that reports are compliant with the new requirements. 

Editor’s note: For additional tips, see the full article in the August issue of Briefings on HIPAA.



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

Most Popular