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Medical Records Update for Paralegals: Releases, Retention and Confidentiality Requirements

OnDemand Webinar (90 minutes)

Understand the requirements of HIPAA, HITECH, and the Omnibus Rule when it comes to medical record releases, retention, and confidentiality.Medical providers and health plans, vendors, and others who retain medical or health records are often subjected to complex and conflicting requirements to maintain the confidentiality and restrict the disclosure of the information. Complex and overlapping rules and regulations impose rigid requirements that must be met before information is released and require medical record repositories to retain the records for often-conflicting time periods. This topic will outline the sources of the laws and regulations that govern the ability and duty of such repositories to release such information; their obligations to retain medical records in their possession; the confidentiality obligations of such record holders; the impact of those laws, and how to establish policies and systems to ensure those laws are met. This topic will specifically outline the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the regulations promulgated thereunder, which have been substantially upgraded in the HITECH Act and the Omnibus Rule and made applicable to entities that were not subject to HIPAA before, and will also identify common, state statutory and regulatory schemes that deal with medical record release and retention. The information will offer some advice, tips and sample policies that can be used by medical providers and other record holders to help ensure compliance with these wide-reaching laws and regulations.


Jeffery P. Drummond, Jackson Walker L.L.P.



• Background


Medical Record Releases

• Situations

- Health Care Business Operations

- Voluntary Releases

- Governmental Requests

- Litigation

• Governing Laws

- HIPAA; State Laws

• Methods for Release

- Legally Allowed Releases

- Consents and Authorizations

Retention Requirements

• Laws

- Federal; State

• Laws for Specific Situations

- AIDS, Substance Abuse, Psychiatric Issues

- Public Health Issues; Others

• Contractual Obligations

• Policies and Procedures

Confidentiality Issues


• Public Health Act


• Part 2

• State Law Issues

• Common Law Relationship Issues