The Impact of a New Regulation on the Healthcare Industry

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・3 Sources

When determining a legal health record, different issues should be considered, including accreditation and CMS guidelines, as well as the specifics of the organization's operation, such as Healthcare Electronic Records (HER) options, State Laws, and IT systems, among others (McWay, 2016). Ideally, the legal health record is a subset of data that the organization's IT and HER systems capture and preserve. Furthermore, the definition of a regular health record may necessitate the participation of many people both inside and outside the organization. A legal health record provides a consistent information release, avoiding uncertainty and potential liabilities that may arise due to inconsistency. A permitted health record can be created either electronically or manually as an official document indicating the legal health services that have been provided to the patient (McWay, 2016). In most cases, a legal health record is a business record kept by healthcare organizations and can only be made available to a patient if a written request is made or the law obligates the care provider to give access to law enforcement agencies.

B: The “Montana Code Annotated 2014” section 41-1-402 (3) states that “a minor who has a child may give effective consent to health service for the child” (Montana Legislative Services, 2015). Therefore, under the law a minor may give valid consent for health services in a situation where she or he is a parent of a child that requires health services. The minor has the legal right to give consent for health services to be administered for the child. In the event that a healthcare organization fails to allow such a minor the right to consent for the provision of health services for her child, then it would be liable for criminal liability.

Criminal liability under HIPAA provisions are enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. In the event that a complaint is filed, investigations are conducted in addition to compliance reviews. These are done to determine whether the organization was in violation of legal provisions that provides for a minor to give consent for the provisions of health services to her child. The failure to comply with provisions provided for in the “Montana Code Annotated 2014” can result to civil and criminal penalties. In the event that the organization refuses to adequately resolve the problem, civil penalties are imposed.

C. The “Montana Code Annotated 2014” section 50-16-603x (2) that health care information may not be released except “when the health care information pertains to a person who has given written consent to the release and has specified the type of information to be released and the person or entity to whom it may be released” (Montana Legislative Services, 2015) The law protects the privacy of health information and any organizations that act in contravention of this provision may be liable for civil and criminal liability. A patient’s information cannot be released to any entity without consent since it is subject to doctor-patient confidentiality agreement. Confidentiality is essentially safeguarding and protection of private information that is shared between the patient and healthcare provider.

In the event that the organization discloses confidential health information without the written consent by the patient directing the scope of information to be released to a designated person, then it may be liable to legal action. Under HIPAA provisions for civil penalties, an organization may be liable for civil penalties for acting in contravention to the Code and knowingly disclosing private and identifiable health information.

D. The “Montana Code Annotated 2014” Section 50-16-540 expressly states that the provision of health care information may be subject to a fee that does not exceed fifty cents for every page that is copied. An administrative fee that does not exceed $15 may be charged for search and processing of health care information. Section 50-16-541 (1) states that after a patient has submitted a written request for a copy of all or part of his/her health care information, the provider is required by law to “make the information available to the patient for examination, without charge, during regular business hours or provide a copy, if requested to the patient” (Montana Legislative Services, 2015). However, under section 50-16-542 (1), a health care provider may be compelled or obligated to refuse the request for the examination or copying of health care information. The circumstances that could warrant such a denial include if “knowledge of the healthcare information could reasonably be expected to cause danger to the life or safety of any individual” (Montana Legislative Services, 2015).

These provisions are in compliance with HIPAA rules on accessibility to healthcare information.  According to HIPAA, health providers are expected to comply with a patient’s right to examine and receive a copy of his or her health care information. In addition, the patient has the right to request corrections or amendments be made to the health records that are maintained by the healthcare provider. The patient should be given directions and guidelines on the use or sharing of personal health care information. The patient has the right to determine and give consent on how private health information is used by the service provider. For instance, a patient must give consent prior to his or her health information can be used for purposes such as marketing and research.

However, if the health care provider determines that by giving the patient access to health information it can result in harmful outcomes, then a patient may be denied the opportunity to examine or get a copy of such information. In addition, HIPAA rules indicate that third parties may gain access to an individual’s health information. Though the privacy rule defines who can access, examine and copy a patient’s information, there are those that may be granted express permission by the law to do so (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2018). However, access to a patient’s health information is only granted with the aim of protecting the patient. A health care provider can allow other professionals to examine and copy a patient’s health information with the aim of coordinating the provision of care and treatment for the patient. A patient’s information may be made accessible to family members or individuals that are directly responsible for covering healthcare costs for the patient (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2018).

The patient has the right to deny or object to such individuals being given access to private medical information. In addition, the provider may be legally required to allow law enforcement agencies access to a patient’s health information. These agencies may examine and make copies of the information especially where a criminal act is suspected such as unexplained gun shot wounds. The major similarity between the “Montana Code Annotated 2014” and HIPAA laws is that and individual’s health information cannot be shared with a third party with the written consent of the patient. The only conditions that others can access private and confidential health information is when there is an express provision under the law (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2018).


McWay, D. C. (2016). Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Information Management. New York, NY: CENGAGE Learning.

Montana Legislative Services. (2015). Montana Code Annotated 2014. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2018). Your Rights under HIPAA. Retrieved from

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