All dentists soon must comply with new federal health record regulation: 5 things to know

All dentists will soon be required to comply with an information-blocking rule that prohibits providers from inhibiting patients' access to certain health records, the California Dental Association said Sept. 29.

Here are five things to know about the rule:

  1. The rule went into effect April 15, but the deadline for healthcare providers to be in full compliance with the rule was extended indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. The rule grants patients full access to several records, including consultation notes, lab report narratives, and history and physical examinations.
  3. Patients will gain access to all information requestable under HIPAA beginning Oct. 6, 2022.
  4. Information excluded from the rule includes psychotherapy notes as defined by HIPAA and information prepared in anticipation of litigation.
  5. There are eight exceptions to the rule, in which a provider is not required to grant patients access and will not be penalized for restricting access. The exceptions include situations in which restricting access is necessary to prevent harm, infeasibility or to comply with a privacy request.

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