How Does the HITECH Act Affect Medical Records?
In 2009, President Obama signed into law the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). Under the went through a dramatic change. The goal was to expand the use of health information technology, especially electronic health records, by health care providers.
One of the benefits of the act was to give patients easier access to their medical records. However, the HITECH Act does have its limitations, and you'll want to know about them before you communicate with your healthcare provider. DoNotPay has the information you need, and if you run into problems, we're here to make the process easier.
The HITECH Act and Your Medical Records
The goals of the were broad, and they had a significant impact on the healthcare industry. These are the basic requirements it set down:
- Promoted and expanded the use of electronic health records by health care providers
- Removed loopholes in HIPAA and clarified some of the wording in that Act
- Created tougher penalties for HIPAA compliance failures
Most of these don't affect the average citizen, but the rules around electronic health records do have an important impact on everyone.
How Does the HITECH ACT Affect You?
One of the big changes in the involves how patients can request their medical records. In an attempt to make it easier for patients to access their medical information, providers are now required to provide the following:
- They must give the patient an electronic copy of their records in response to a written request.
- A signed HIPAA form is not required, as long as the request comes from the patient.
- They may not charge more than a flat fee of $6.50 for generating the records, with a few exceptions for complicated records, such as making copies of X-rays.
- They have 30 days to comply with the request, although they may request another 30 days if the records are extensive.
What Problems Could You Run Into?
The HITECH Act simplifies the process of requesting your medical records. But there are some situations that may not be covered by this Act. Here are two of the problems you could encounter:
|It only applies to requests directly from the patient.||If you are a caregiver, not all of the same protections apply. If you have the proper paperwork, you still have a legal right to the records, but the process will be more complex.|
|Not all patients feel comfortable with the wording of the request letter.||The law eliminates the need for patients to fill out a specific form, but some people find it difficult to know how best to structure their request.|
If the HITECH Act doesn't fit your specific situation, you can still have help getting the medical records you're entitled to.
DoNotPay Can Help When the HITECH Act Can't
The HITECH Act was intended to make the process easier, but it doesn't always work out that way. If you need help getting medical records, DoNotPay is here to help. We've created a system to help you get through the rules and regulations with ease, so you can get your hands on the records you need.
Here's how easy it is to request medical records using DoNotPay:
- Look up medical records on DoNotPay's website.
- Enter the name of the health care provider you'd like to receive medical records from.
- Answer a few questions about your provider and where you'd like to send the records.
That's all you have to do! We will take care of the rest, and we will see to it that you have your information as soon as possible.
DoNotPay Can Deal With Many Medical Records Requests
If you're trying to navigate the world of electronic health records, then you know how frustrating it can be. But you don't have to deal with these things alone. DoNotPay knows how to work with many different companies and situations, and we can almost certainly help you. Here's a taste of what we can do:
- Request Mercy medical records
- Request Kaiser medical records
- Provide information about how long records are kept
- Help you get many other medical records
- Request Baptist medical records
- Request Cleveland Clinic medical records
If that sounds good, wait until you see what else we can do on your behalf.
DoNotPay Specializes in Fixing Problems
Medical records requests are just the beginning. DoNotPay was made to make it easier for people to take care of problems that tend to be more difficult than they need to be. For example, here are some of the services we provide:
- Sue anyone in small claims court
- File an effective complaint
- Appeal your banned account
- Request needed sick leave
- Legally break your lease
- Create an advance health care directive
- Get help with bills
There's even more where that came from, so try us out and see how we can simplify your life today!