Access Reports Can Make Records More Complete

December 1, 2011 – In The News
Healthcare Risk Management

The access reports proposed by the Office for Civil Rights' proposed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) accounting of disclosures rule could aid a plaintiff's attorney in filing a malpractice case, but they also could result in abandoning the case, says one plaintiff's attorney.

Another attorney worries that the access reports could create a situation with people on a witness list or even being sued simply because they were on an access report. Litigation could be complicated and made more costly, says former critical care nurse, Jacqueline Carolan. The peer review process has to be considered, Carolan says. If you have a physician who is under review, several people might view the records of that patient and many of the doctor's other patients to determine if the physician's care is appropriate.

"But the patient sees 20 people accessing his record," she says. "I think it's something that could be a concern for the consumer who doesn't understand this process in the hospital."

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