Soon, revenue cycle staff must be prepared to answer this question: How do I access my medical records?

Starting April 5, patients must be able to access all the health information in their electronic medical records without delay, as required by the ONC Cures Act Final Rule.1,2 “Most organizations will be able to leverage their existing technology to make records available to patients,” says Julie Ingraham, managing director at Huron.

Revenue cycle departments will need to review scripting to ensure it aligns with the new rules. “Revenue cycle departments, particularly individuals who interface directly with patients, should know what is mandated by the Cures Act,” Ingraham stresses.

To assist patients, revenue cycle staff will need training on how to navigate the patient portal or other processes for accessing records. “Scripting should use patient-friendly terms to respond to anticipated frequently asked questions,” Huron offers.

While revenue cycle staff are not the ones answering clinical concerns, they do need to know how to respond when asked those questions. “Scripting will allow staff to respond clearly and, when appropriate, facilitate a ‘warm handoff’ to the care provider team,” Ingraham says.

REFERENCES

  1. HHS.gov. HHS finalizes historic rules to provide patients more control of their health data. March 9, 2020.
  2. HHS.gov. HHS extends compliance dates for information blocking and health IT certification requirements in 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule. Oct. 29, 2020.