Dentists Continue to be a HIPAA Enforcement Target and Right of Access Remains the Focus

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced three more HIPAA Right of Access enforcement resolutions – all against dentists.  And the story is largely the same:  patients requested records and did not timely or properly receive those records.  In one instance, the dental practice significantly overcharged for records.

Dentists have been prominently featured in this year’s enforcement action resolutions.  Seven of 20 OCR enforcement action resolutions this year have been against dentists.  And five of those involved Right of Access issues.

As I have said many times, the Right of Access is low hanging fruit for enforcement.  But fortunately, it is also relatively easy to comply with the Right of Access rules.  If providers want to avoid OCR investigations that will result in an examination of issues other than Right of Access, they must properly handle patient requests.

We created a Right of Access video series made up of six short (3-5 minute) videos on the various components of Right of Access.  It’s available on Vimeo.  No charge, no need to register or other strings attached.  Just a good resource to help address the single most enforced aspect of HIPAA over the past few years.

For those of you keeping score, there have been 20 HIPAA enforcement action resolutions so far in 2022 (16 of which are Right of Access) with total penalties and settlements just over $2.1 million.