HHS' Office for Civil Rights has released a memo to help patients understand their legal right to access their health information, Government Health IT reports.
OCR released the memo and a related YouTube video in conjunction with this week's White House Patient Access to Health Data Summit.
About the Memo
The memo provides resources and tips aimed at supporting patients' access to their health data.
Leon Rodriguez -- director of OCR -- said some patients are unaware that they can request access to their health data and some health care providers mistakenly think HIPAA privacy and security rules restrict their ability to give patients their medical records.
He said, "We're hearing more and more about widespread issues, patients being denied or obstructed in their access to their records."
To help address such issues, patients can print the OCR memo and bring it to their health care providers when they request access to their data, according to Government Health IT.
Rodriguez said, "[W]e thought it was important to arm patients with something very easy to bring to their providers to say, in fact, the law requires you to give me my records, but for certain exceptions."
He added that it is important for consumers to understand their data access rights because it will help them be more fully engaged in their health care (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 6/7).