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Does an individual have a right under HIPAA to access their health information in human readable form?

Yes. In general, a covered entity must provide an individual with access to PHI about the individual in a designated record set in the form and format requested by the individual, if it is readily producible in such form and format. In cases where the PHI is not readily producible in the requested form and format, the covered entity must provide the PHI in a readable alternative form and format as agreed to by the covered entity and the individual. See 45 CFR 164.524(c)(2). Thus, individuals have a right under HIPAA to access PHI about themselves in human readable form. In cases where a covered entity is providing an individual with an electronic copy of PHI, we also expect the covered entity to provide the copy in machine readable form (i.e., in a form able to be processed by a computer), to the extent possible and where consistent with the individual’s request.

Posted in: HIPAA
Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on June 24, 2016