Patient’s Guide to HIPAA Part II: The Seven Basic Patient Rights

Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: Can I Ask that Incorrect Information be Removed From My File?

Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to Request Amendment (FAQ 30 of 65)

Yes, but it may not be that easy. A HIPAA-covered entity does not necessarily have to remove incorrect information. It can mark the information as incorrect and add additional notes that show the correct information.

Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: What Other Limits Are There on the Right to Seek Amendment?

Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to Request Amendment (FAQ 31 of 65)

A covered entity does not have to amend a record that it considers accurate and complete. It does not have to amend a record that is not available for inspection by you under the access provision.

Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: Do I Have Greater Amendment Rights under State Laws, other Federal Laws, or Hospital Policies?

Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to Request Amendment (FAQ 32 of 65)

Maybe. Some states have health privacy laws that provide greater rights of amendment. If your records are held by the federal government (e.g., Medicare, VA, or Indian Health Service), your rights to ask for amendment of records under the Privacy Act of 1974 may be greater than under HIPAA. These two sets of privacy rules overlap, and you are entitled to the best parts of both laws. Not only may other laws provide patients with better amendment rights than HIPAA, but they may offer better remedies and clear causes of action in case you have to sue to correct records.

Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: What Happens When a Covered Entity Agrees to Make an Amendment?

Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to Request Amendment (FAQ 33 of 65)

The covered entity that agrees to make an amendment must:

• Make the amendment;
• Tell the requester what it did; and
• Make reasonable efforts to inform others about the amendment within a reasonable time.

Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: Can I Appeal if a Covered Entity Refuses to Make an Amendment?

Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to Request Amendment (FAQ 34 of 65)

Maybe. An institution must accept complaints about its health privacy policies and practices. Filing a complaint with an institution may not be the equivalent of filing an appeal of a denial of a request for amendment, but it may help if it forces someone new at the covered entity to review your request. However, some institutions may accept formal appeals. Consult the institution’s notice of privacy practices to see if there is an appeal method for a denial of a request for amendment. Talk to the privacy officer at the covered entity to see if you can obtain help.