HIPAA fee limitation no longer applies to third-party access to health records

Following a ruling in federal court two days prior, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Jan. 25 that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule fee limitations do not apply to requests to transmit copies of records to third-parties.

Fee limits for individuals requesting copies of their own health records are unchanged. On Jan. 23, a federal court vacated the application of the Privacy Rule limit on the amount a covered entity or business associate can charge for copies of health records to be sent to a third party.

The rule change means HIPAA does not limit how much covered entities or their business associates can charge patients or third-parties for providing a copy of a patient’s health records to a third party. This includes scenarios where a patient requests a copy be sent to a third-party, or a third-party has patient authorization to request copies of the patient’s health records.

The government offers the official HHS announcement online as well as the full court opinion.