Part 2: Basic Patient Rights (FAQ 33 of 65)
Right to Request Amendment
33. What Happens When a Covered Entity Agrees to Make an Amendment?
The covered entity that agrees to make an amendment must:
The third requirement is most noteworthy. If you convince a covered entity to amend your record, the covered entity must tell any persons that you identify who received the original incorrect information and who need the amendment. In addition, the covered entity must notify any persons who have the information that was the subject of the amendment and who may have relied or could foreseeably rely on the information.
To make sure that amendments have been appropriately distributed, you may want to ask for an accounting of disclosures. The right to receive an accounting is explained elsewhere in this guide. (See FAQs 37-44.) What is important is that amendments be provided to those who may rely on the original incorrect information. Each patient has the right to tell a covered entity to send the amendment to anyone who received the original information and needs the information.
Be sure that any amended information that bears on your future medical treatment is shared with other providers. Information that bears on insurance and payment matters may need to be shared with insurers and, possibly, with employers. The goal is to find and eliminate any incorrect information that others have and that may affect you adversely.
It may take considerable effort to make sure that every appropriate person has the information and that those with the information correct their own records. Every covered entity must act when it receives a notice of amendment, but that doesn't mean that it will be done quickly or properly. It may be appropriate to ask each appropriate covered entity to confirm that it actually made the amendment. You may have to request a copy of your record from that covered entity to be certain.
Be aware of any Health Information Exchanges that may impact where your records are located. For example, some emergency rooms in some states exchange electronic health records through a third party called a Health Information Exchange. In Long Beach, California, the Health Information Exchange is Long Beach Network for Health. In New York, it is the New York e-Health Collaborative. Other states and regions have similar exchanges. Ask about the presence of an exchange or network so you can locate all of the copies of your records.