Skip to the main content.
Talk to sales Start for free
Talk to sales Start for free

2 min read

What is the HIPAA right to amend?

What is the HIPAA right to amend?

HIPAA establishes various patient rights, including the right to access, request restrictions, and amend protected health information (PHI). Understanding the HIPAA right to amend will allow patients to exercise it to maintain control over their medical records.


HIPAA and patient rights

HIPAA aims to safeguard patient privacy and promote the secure transfer of healthcare information. HIPAA grants patients certain rights that give them a say in how their health information is used and shared. These rights include the right to access their medical records, request restrictions on the disclosure of their information, and the right to amend their PHI.


Understanding the HIPAA right to amend

The HIPAA right to amend empowers patients to request changes to their medical records when they believe inaccuracies or incomplete information exists. This right is an aspect of patient control. It allows individuals to ensure that their medical records accurately reflect their health history.


The process for requesting an amendment

To exercise the HIPAA right to amend, patients can follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a written request: Put together a written request to the healthcare provider or entity responsible for the creation of your medical records.
  2. Specify the details to be amended: Clearly state the specific information in your medical records that need to be amended. This may include incorrect diagnoses, inaccurate treatment dates, or missing information.
  3. Explain the reasons for the requested changes: Provide a clear and concise explanation of why you are requesting the amendments. This helps healthcare providers understand the basis for the changes and the requested updates.
  4. Submit the request: Send the written request to the healthcare provider or entity responsible for maintaining your medical records. Ensure that you keep a copy of the request for your records.
  5. Follow up: If you don't receive a response within a reasonable timeframe (typically 60 days), follow up with the provider to ensure your request is processed.


Provider's responsibilities under the right to amend

Healthcare providers are responsible for responding to amendment requests within a reasonable timeframe. Providers must review the changes and assess their appropriateness upon receiving an amendment request. They may consult other professionals involved in the patient's care to make informed decisions. Providers can request an extension of up to 30 days if additional time is needed to complete the review. However, they must inform the patient in writing about the need for the extension.

Related: What are HIPAA right of access provisions?


Denial of the amendment and patient's options

In some cases, healthcare providers may deny a requested amendment. If a requested amendment is denied, providers must provide patients with a written explanation for the denial. Healthcare providers cannot deny an amendment request simply because they disagree with a patient's assessment or opinion. Patients have the right to submit a written statement of disagreement, which will be included in their medical records alongside the denied amendment. This statement helps provide an accurate picture of the patient's perspective.

The HIPAA right to amend empowers patients and ensures the accuracy and integrity of their medical records. 

RelatedHIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide

Subscribe to Paubox Weekly

Every Friday we'll bring you the most important news from Paubox. Our aim is to make you smarter, faster.