Healthcare professionals can find themselves in a quandary when they want to report fraud or other concerns within their organizations because doing so could require disclosure of protected health information. That could seem like a HIPAA violation; fortunately, there is a whistleblower exception that covers this scenario.
With nearly 20 settlements so far, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is showing its determination to protect patients’ rights to obtain their medical records from healthcare entities. OCR announced its Right of Access Initiative in 2019 and vowed to “vigorously enforce” patients’ right to access their medical records. OCR continues investigating allegations of improper delays that potentially violated the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s right of access requirements (45 C.F.R. § 164.524).
While it always is necessary to consult with local counsel (as damages analyses can vary by state), this case suggests an expansion of the traditional concept of how courts and experts calculate pain and suffering.
The latest report on maternal health from The Leapfrog Group shows progress on all three health measures, but there is room for improvement. A record percentage of hospitals achieved Leapfrog’s target for nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex cesarean delivery rates.
Risk managers should work closely with hospital security directors to coordinate efforts to address workplace violence and other threats. Hospitals must balance security with welcoming the public and providing a pleasant atmosphere.