OCR Issues Guidance on Individuals’ Access to Health Records

The DHHS Office of Civil Rights delivered an email blast touting its newly issued guidance on individuals’ rights of access to their health records. I have doubts about its helpfulness to ordinary patients who have not had long exposure the HIPAA  regulations and their associated jargon. But it looks like a good reference for  lawyers and their health care clients.

Individuals’ Right under HIPAA to Access their Health Information

NYAD 1: Late Disclaimer OK; Limitation of Coverage to Classified Operations was Not an Exclusion

A contractor’s employee was injured while jackhammering a chimney. The employee sued the property owner, which in turn impleaded the contractor. The contractor notified its CGL carrier, which issued a disclaimer more than two months later.

An endorsement to the policy limited coverage to specifically classified operations, which did not include chimney demolition by jackhammer.

If the disclaimer had been based on an exclusion, it would have been untimely under Insurance Law § 3420(d) (2). But, said the Appellate Division, no coverage was ever extended to the activity in the first instance, so the statute, which governs disclaimers based on exclusions, did not apply.

Company side coverage counsel should not be lulled into a false sense of security by this decision. The court took pains to point out, in a footnote, that “it is not dispositive that the word ‘exclusion’ is not used in the relevant portions of the subject policy”.

Black Bull Contr., LLC v Indian Harbor Ins. Co. (Jan. 5, 2016)