Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. Final Privacy Rule Preamble.. Internal Complaints

12/28/2000

The final rule requires each covered entity to have an internal process to allow an individual to file a complaint concerning the covered entity's compliance with its privacy policies and procedures. The requirement includes designating a contact person or office responsible for receiving complaints and documenting the disposition of them, if any. This function may be performed by the privacy official, but because it is a distinct right under the final rule and may be performed by someone else, we are costing it separately.

The covered entity only is required to receive and document a complaint (no response is required), which we assume will take, on average, ten minutes (the complaint can be oral or in writing). The Department believes that such complaints will be uncommon. We have assumed that one in every thousand patients will file a complaint, which is approximately 10.6 million complaints over ten years. Based on a weighted-average hourly wage of $47.28 at ten minutes per complaint, the cost of this policy is $6.6 million in the first year. Using wage growth and patient growth assumptions, the cost of this policy is $103 million over ten years.