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Ohio Revised Code 3798.10 required the Medicaid director to create standard authorization forms (medical release forms) which are compliant with both the HIPAA requirements in 45 CFR §164.508 and the Substance Use Disorder confidentiality requirements in 42 CFR §2.31.  In late December 2018, Ohio Medicaid released the new, Ohio Standard Authorization Forms.  (ORC 3798.10 required that the forms be created in 2013, so they are 6 years late!)

Forms Must be Accepted

Ohio recipients of a properly executed standard authorization form cannot reject it.

The medical release forms can be found here. It’s not mandatory that you use these specific forms. Assuming the forms you currently use comply with the appropriate regulations, you need to change nothing, your existing forms are still fine.

The benefit of using one of these standard forms is that when properly completed, the form must be accepted as a valid release for the use or disclosure of health information in Ohio.

It is not uncommon that we hear our clients complain that their release forms being rejected. For example, after submitting valid paperwork to a hospital, the hospital records department rejects the form and says that the hospital form must be used.   But if you use one of these standard forms, and an Ohio organization rejects your request, you can tell them, “Under Ohio law (OAC 516–1-32.1), you are required to accept this form.”

These forms will also benefit those requesting or providing records for substance use disorder treatment.  Records created in federally funded (e.g. Medicare or Medicaid) entities for substance use disorder are regulated by an additional regulation, 42 CFR Part 2.  The second Ohio form (Form B) simultaneously complies with HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2.  The specifications for a valid release under 42 CFR Part 2 are different, and can be tricky, so this form may be helpful.

Going Forward

We have not identified what the penalties are for failing to accept one of these properly executed, standard release forms.

These standard medical release forms have been in effect since February 2, 2019.  Even if you will not be using them for requests, we encourage all staff involved with record releases to become familiar with the new forms since your incoming requests might use one of these forms.





About Jacob Overdorff

Jacob Overdorff, Consultant for Eagle Consulting

Jacob is a consultant at Eagle Consulting with a legal background and strong focus on HIPAA-Compliance obligations.  He graduated from University of Akron School of Law in 2015, has worked as a law clerk for the International Institute of Akron, and brings research, client service, and management skills to the team.

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