The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has released a new web-based resource – the ONC Guide to Getting and Using your Health Records – that promotes individual access to medical records by educating patients on their rights of access and amendment under HIPAA and provides detailed instructions on how patients should request their records.

As ONC acknowledges, access to health information can empower patients and enable them to take control of their own health, well-being and safety. Although the guidance does not have the force of law, it offers valuable insight into how the Trump Administration seeks to further patient rights under HIPAA.

Prudent covered entities and business associates are reviewing these provisions and asking how the changes may affect their Business Associate Agreements.