Vacated HITECH Ruling — Impacts on your Firm

On January 23, 2020 a Federal Court vacated the HIPAA HITECH Act that allowed law firms, record retrieval agencies, or any third party to obtain electronic records on behalf of a plaintiff at a significantly reduced rate.

The HITECH Act, signed into law in February 2009 included a provision requiring covered entities to charge either the cost of labor and supplies when providing an electronic medical record — or a flat fee of $6.50.

The Act previously enabled third parties (law firms, insurance companies, and record companies) to retrieve an electronic copy of medical records on behalf of a plaintiff at a reduced fee that we directly passed onto the law firm. Now, with the court vacating this ruling, the state’s higher guideline pricing will be charged by providers.

Record retrieval is an important part of the discovery process. And because we recognize the importance of cost control for our clients, we understand the significant impact this ruling has on firms. Our client commitment remains the same with provider fees for private collections remaining a direct pass-through cost.

In response to this change, Pohlman will:

  • Continue to pay provider fees upfront
  • Continue to review invoices for absolute accuracy
  • Contest any invoices not adhering to state guideline pricing
  • Review client preferences for provider fee approval limits
  • Take any and all cost-saving measures

Some things that remain unaffected:

  • Individual rights to directly access one’s own records via HITECH — and fee limitations on those requests remains unchanged.
  • A valid HITECH letter can still be used to authorize the release of the patient’s electronic medical record.

Pohlman has achieved 30 years of litigation services excellence by providing unparalleled customer service, utilizing our vast industry expertise, and maintaining a constant focus on HIPAA compliance. As with any situation, Pohlman will be watching out for our clients by continuing to monitor the situation carefully and informing you of any new developments.

Questions? Contact us at 888.677.7327 M-F 7:00 am to 5:00 pm CST.