OCR, the office that enforces HIPAA, fired important enforcement shots across the bow of two specific covered entities for failing to comply with the right of individuals to have access to their own protected health information (PHI).

No doubt OCR publicized these investigations resulting in money payments and detailed, supervised corrective action plans as a warning for all covered entities. Failure to provide access to PHI is well-known and widespread. Many covered entities even post PHI access instructions on their websites that blatantly confirm their ongoing violations.

OCR now is wielding its enforcement power because its repeated warnings, Internet-based education and guidance clearly have not convinced covered entities to follow correct right of access procedures.However, right of access procedures are easy to follow and document step-by-step. Covered entities have no excuse for not providing proper access to PHI.
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