NRPM: Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. ii. Original creator of the information.

11/03/1999

We propose to require a covered plan or provider to accommodate a request for amendment or correction if the plan or provider created the information in dispute.

We considered requiring covered plans and providers to amend or correct any erroneous or incomplete information it maintains, regardless of whether it created the information. Under this approach, if the plan or provider did not create the information, then it would have been required to trace the information back to the original source to determine accuracy and completeness. We rejected this option because we concluded that it would not be appropriate to require the plan or provider that receives a request to be responsible for verifying the accuracy or completeness of information that it did not create. We also were concerned about the burden that would be imposed on covered plans and providers if they were required to trace the source of any erroneous or incomplete information transmitted to them.

We would rely on a combination of three other requirements to ensure that protected health information remains as accurate as possible as it travels through the health care system. First, we are proposing that a covered plan or provider that makes an amendment or correction be required to notify any relevant persons, organizations, or other entities of the change or addition. Second, we are proposing that other covered plans or providers that receive such a notification be required to incorporate the necessary amendment or correction. Finally, we are proposing that covered plans or providers require their business partners who receive such notifications to incorporate any necessary amendments or corrections. See discussion in section II.F.4.c.iii. We are soliciting comments whether this approach would effectively ensure that amendments and corrections are communicated appropriately.