New release of information service supports healthcare facilities facing closure or M&A in meeting long-term regulatory requirements for protected health information.
Harmony Healthcare IT, a highly respected and long-established provider of health data management solutions, unveiled a new Records Release service that allows healthcare providers (or their trustees) to confidently outsource release of information responsibilities. Outsourcing medical or employee records release is often a necessary option for healthcare facilities facing department/facility closure or merger and acquisition (M&A). This new service offering supports an industry need for lifecycle data solutions as it has been reported rural hospitals are at risk of shutting down and that a steady consolidation of health systems through M&A is expected to continue through 2030.
According to state guidelines, the rules set by the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), patient records must remain accessible after closure or M&A. While most healthcare records must be retained for a minimum of six years to meet HIPAA regulations, other factors can impact medical record retention periods such as whether the patient is a minor or if they were treated for a specific medical condition (e.g., behavioral health or oncology).
“Working through records management when a healthcare facility closes or gets acquired can be complex,” said Jon Grenier, MPA, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Harmony Healthcare IT. “The long-term plan for personally identifiable information requires an experienced and knowledgeable coordinator to manage the statutory requirements once a medical facility will no longer handle the records itself.”
The Harmony Healthcare IT team is in a unique position to offer this Records Release service with its broad experience of working with more than 550 clinical and financial software brands for data migration or archival from electronic medical record, practice management, and human resource software. This new offering supports the future release of information that may be needed for patient care, litigation, insurance audits, workers’ compensation, validation of employment, and other reasons.
While each hospital or medical practice closure or acquisition is unique, generally, the Harmony Healthcare IT Records Release services will include:
- Data extraction from legacy systems (clinical, financial, or administrative)
- Discrete data storage in an active archive with release of information workflows
- A web landing page for requestors to learn about the record release process
- Secure information provision to requestors such as patients, employers, and payers
- A detailed audit trail of the record release process with date and time stamping
The Harmony Healthcare IT team is equipped to support healthcare delivery organizations to ensure there is a plan to keep patient, employee, and other business records secure, accessible, and deliverable to requestors.