Behavioral Health Care

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  • 1.  Denying access to records?

    Posted 08-10-2022 12:04 PM

    Looking for some guidance on releasing medical records to patients. Our Medical Director has requested to put the following statement in our Records Release policy. 

    "Access to all or part of a record may be denied, upon exercise of professional judgment of the Director of Clinical Services when such access is judged to be reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or another person. A note will be placed in the client's record as to what cannot be released in the judgment of the Director."

    I am not in favor of this statement as I feel it will slow down our release process as well as could cause some issues with HIPAA. It is my interpretation of HIPAA regulations that we can deny parts of the record if a clinician determines that releasing the records could cause harm to the patient however this determination needs to happen at the time of service. If you have a statement like this in your current record release policy could you share your rationale with me? If you do not have this statement and release all records to patients can you explain why you release all records? I am open to any other feedback as I am new to the compliance/HIPAA world. Thanks!

    Nicole Lewis
    Director of Quality & Compliance
    Southside Behavioral Health
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  • 2.  RE: Denying access to records?

    Posted 08-10-2022 12:24 PM
    Hi @Nicole Lewis,

    This is a great question, can you cross-post this to our HIPAA community as well? Let me know if I can help!!


    Stephen (Steve) Pavlicek | Community Engagement Manager
    Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
    Health Care Compliance Association
    Office: 952.567.6219 | Mobile: 612.207.3172
    6462 City West Parkway | Eden Prairie, MN 55344

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  • 3.  RE: Denying access to records?

    Posted 08-10-2022 12:36 PM
    I believe we have something like this in our policy.  I don't see how this would slow down the process unless this is part of the procedure and a provider is required to review every note.  We do not require a provider to review every note, but having this in our policy provides guidance and gives us a policy to refer to if we do want to withhold a note.


    David Garrison 

    Compliance/Privacy Officer 

    SEARHC Executive Offices

    P: 907.364.4466 F: 907.463.4075
    3100 Channel Drive, Suite 300 | Juneau, AK 99801

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