Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. Final Privacy Rule Preamble.. Section 164.526(b) - Requests for Amendment and Timely Action

12/28/2000

We proposed to require covered health care providers and health plans to provide a means for individuals to request amendment of protected health information about them. Under the NPRM, we would have required covered health care providers and health plans to take action on a request for amendment or correction within 60 days of the request.

As in the proposed rule, covered entities must permit individuals to request that the covered entity amend protected health information about them. We also permit certain specifications for the form and content of the request. If a covered entity informs individuals of such requirements in advance, a covered entity may require individuals to make requests for amendment in writing and to provide a reason to support a requested amendment. If the covered entity imposes such a requirement and informs individuals of the requirement in advance, the covered entity is not required to act on an individual's request that does not meet the requirements.

We retain the requirement for covered entities to act on a request for amendment within 60 days of receipt of the request. In the final rule, we specify the nature of the action the covered entity must take within the time frame. The covered entity must inform the individual, as described below, that the request has been either accepted or denied, in whole or in part. It must also take certain actions pursuant to its decision to accept or deny the request, as described below. If the covered entity is unable to meet the deadline, the covered entity may extend the deadline by no more than 30 days. The covered entity must inform the individual in writing, within the initial 60-day period, of the reason for the delay and the date by which the covered entity will complete its action on the request. A covered entity may only extend the deadline one time per request for amendment.