Georgia Physician Pays $36,000 to Settle HIPAA Right of Access Violation Charges

Case: In April 2019, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received a complaint about a primary care physician practice’s failure to respond to a patient’s request for access to his medical records. A month later, OCR provided technical assistance to the practice on the HIPAA right of access requirements and closed the complaint. But in October 2019, the agency received a second complaint alleging that the practice still hadn’t given the patient access to his medical records. So, OCR investigated and determined that the practice’s failure to provide the requested medical records was a potential violation of the HIPAA right of access standard. In addition to eventually giving the patient access, the practice agreed to settle the complaint for $36,000 and agreement to take corrective actions and undergo two years of OCR monitoring.

Significance: This is the 13th settlement of an investigation under the OCR’s HIPAA Right of Access Initiative, which began in the spring of 2019. Here’s a Scorecard of all announced settlements to date. For more on the Initiative, see
National Intelligence Review (NIR), Nov. 18, 2020.

OCR Right of Access Initiative Settlements Scorecard (as of Dec. 29, 2020)

Provider Settlement Amount* Allegations
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center 160000 Phoenix hospital refused to provide PHI to patient’s mother even though she was his legal representative
NY Spine Medicine 100000 Neurology practice refuses patient’s multiple requests for copies of specific diagnostic films
Bayfront Hospital 85000 Florida hospital didn’t provide expectant mother timely access to the PHI of her unborn child
Korunda Medical 85000 After first refusing to provide it at all, Florida primary care and interventional pain management services provider sent patient’s PHI to third party in the wrong format and charged him excessive fees
Beth Israel Lahey Health Behavioral Services 70000 Massachusetts provider ignored request of personal representative seeking access to her father’s PHI
University of Cincinnati Medical Center, LLC 65000 Ohio academic medical center failed to respond to patient’s request to send an electronic copy of her medical records maintained in its electronic health record EHR to her lawyers
Housing Works Inc. 38000 New York City non-profit services provider refused patient’s request for a copy of his medical records
Peter Wrobel, M.D., P.C., dba Elite Primary Care 36000 Georgia primary care practice failed to provide patient access to his medical records
Riverside Psychiatric Medical Group 25000 California medical group didn’t provide patient copy of her medical records despite repeated requests and OCR intervention
Dr. Rajendra Bhayani 15000 NY physician didn’t provide patient her medical records even after OCR intervened and closed the complaint
All Inclusive Medical Services, Inc. 15000 California multi-specialty family medicine clinic refused patient’s requests to inspect and receive a copy of her records
Wise Psychiatry, PC 10000 Colorado psychiatric firm refused to provide personal representative access to his minor son’s medical record
King MD 3500 Virginia psychiatric practice didn’t provide patient access to her medical records even after OCR intervened, provided technical assistance and closed the complaint

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