Part 2: Basic Patient Rights (FAQ 43 of 65)
Right to Receive an Accounting of Disclosures
43. Why Bother Asking for an Accounting if It Has so Many Loopholes?
Why seek an accounting of disclosures? First, obtaining a copy of the accounting is free. All you have to do is fill out a form or write a simple letter.
Second, an accounting may help even if it isn't complete. You should be able to learn something about how your records were disclosed from the accounting. It may point you to some record keepers you didn't realize had records about you.
Third, the accounting is part of the process for learning about and recovering from medical identity theft. Similarly, if there has been a data breach of the confidentiality of your medical information, the accounting of disclosures may help you find it.
Finally, even though there are many exceptions to accounting, some institutions will nevertheless have a record about disclosures (and even uses) even though the records are not required by HIPAA. If you ask for more, you might just get what you want. Certainly nothing in HIPAA prevents a covered entity from providing a more complete accounting than the minimum required by the rule.