JS Submission Documents

Justin Shafer filed this request with the Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2022-00307-FOIA-OS

2022-00307-FOIA-PSC

Due Feb. 7, 2022
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Justin Shafer

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

I have made complaints to the Office of Civil rights over the years. Here is a small table, 1 complaint number I am missing and 2 I am unsure of. The list may not be perfect, but should be close enough to aid you in a search.

Date Submitted Complaint Number Covered Entity
11/23/2015 10713923 LANAP
12/13/2016 12119927 Dansville
12/27/2016 12177102 Patients Choice
12/27/2016 12177226 Cornelius Toma
1/26/2017 12319167 Patterson Dental
1/30/2017 12337923 Ronald Schultz
1/31/2017 12345918 Doctor's Health Group of South Florida
1/31/2017 12344396 Grand Street Medical
1/31/2017 12346180 or 12345803 Oakview Physical Therapy
1/31/2017 ??????? Community Healthplan of Washington
1/31/2017 12346180 or 12345803 Bailey's Crossroads Dental Services
3/3/2017 12563947 Physical Rehabilitation Centers

Please provide all documents related to these matters. This would include the original submissions by me, all responses by HHS to me, all internal correspondence and other documents within HHS, and communications between HHS and anyone else. Please redact any patient information, which I understand may be present in my submissions, which alleged that medical practices or business associates were not protecting the privacy of patient records. The Dansville Dental complaint had 50,000 records in a PDF file as an attachment to the complaint. If you come across these records please just include 1 or 2 redacted pages.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Justin Shafer

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Dear Justin Shafer,

Case Number 2022-00307-FOIA-PSC has been assigned to the request you submitted. In all future correspondence regarding this request please reference case number 2022-00307-FOIA-PSC.
Regards,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Dear Justin Shafer,
The status of your FOIA request #2022-00307-FOIA-PSC has been updated to the following status 'Received'. To log into the HHS FOIA Submission Site click on the Application URL below.

https://requests.publiclink.hhs.gov

Sincerely,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Dear Justin Shafer,
Your case Number was changed from 2022-00307-FOIA-PSC to 2022-00307-FOIA-OS, by the agency. Please note the new case number to quote in your future correspondence about the request.
Regards,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Dear Justin Shafer,
The status of your FOIA request #2022-00307-FOIA-OS has been updated to the following status 'In Process'. To log into the HHS FOIA Submission Site click on the Application URL below.

https://requests.publiclink.hhs.gov

Sincerely,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

From: Justin Shafer

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information Act request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 11, 2022. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response. You had assigned it reference number #2022-00307-FOIA-OS.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Good Afternoon,

We apologize for the delay. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HHS has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission as effectively and efficiently as possible while also adhering to the recommended safety guidelines to protect of our staff.

During this time, HHS has received an unprecedented amount of FOIA request submissions. Given the incredible volume of FOIA requests received and the limited number FOIA Analysts currently working on processing these requests, the following unusual and exceptional circumstances will impact our response time: (1) we will need to search for and collect records from components and/or field offices external to this office; and (2) because we receive a very heavy volume of FOIA requests, we will process your request in line with our established policy of "first in, first out" case processing. This policy is consistent with court decisions regarding FOIA's time limits.

As we are only able to receive requests electronically, we are experiencing a delay in receiving initial requests; and as such, a delay in processing requests. While unavoidable, this has inevitably caused response times to fluctuate making it extremely difficult to provide an estimated date of completion. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Currently your request is being processed. The Office for Civil Rights was identified as the records manager and is currently searching for pages responsive to your request. Once records are identified they will be assigned to an analyst, you will then be informed and then may reach out directly to the analyst at that time.

Thank you,

Ruhma Sufian
OS FOIA Division Intake
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Office of the Secretary (OS)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

From: Justin Shafer

An example of some complaints I made. Apparently, I didn't have any attachments to the Dansville complaint.

From: Justin Shafer

Here are more complaints I have.

From: Justin Shafer

And the last 2 complaints I have.

From: Justin Shafer

Here is the first page of an attachment I included to the original Patient's Choice complaint I made back in 2016.

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Good Morning,

Your request has been logged and is awaiting the completion of the search for responsive records.

Thank you,
HHS FOIA Intake

From: Justin Shafer

Great, thanks! One of the things I want to know about is why Patient's Choice notified OCR that there were 1069 patients when my complaint said that there were 1069 PDF Files, not patients. Each file held patient data on more than one patient, so the patient count seems grossly underestimated.

From: Justin Shafer

Also, Patient's Choice took a long time to notify and I would like to find out more about that. I am hoping my FOIA will shed light on that subject.

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Good Afternoon,

We are still awaiting records search results from the Officer for Civil Rights (OCR).

We responded to this inquiry yesterday. Please note that HHS has received an unprecedented number of FOIA requests. With this comes an incredible number of searches and status inquiry checks. If possible, please limit your inquiries to reasonable time frames for search from the date of the last response.

Thank you,
HHS FOIA Intake

From: Justin Shafer

Here are some letters I received from the Office of Civil Rights, they have transaction numbers if that helps.

From: Justin Shafer

On the "Letters_from_HHS", my wife wrote Grandstreet on one letter, but it comes from Dallas so I think that goes to Patient's Choice. I was in jail so there was little I could do.

From: Justin Shafer

I also think this FOIA should be expedited because patients were not notified, but that is just my opinion.

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Hello,

Your request is currently pending FOIA review in the Office for Civil Rights Queue. When you request is assigned for processing we can inform you of the analyst who will be reviewing.

Thank you,
HHS FOIA Intake

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Dear Justin Shafer,
The status of your FOIA request #2022-00307-FOIA-OS has been updated to the following status 'Documents Delivered'. To log into the HHS FOIA Submission Site click on the Application URL below.

https://requests.publiclink.hhs.gov

Sincerely,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

From: Department Of Health And Human Services, Office For Civil Rights

Dear Justin Shafer,

Once you login, please change your password to protect your account details.

Password: 9Os(iiFDXtTS
Regards,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

From: Justin Shafer

Hi, thank you for the password, but do you know the username?

From: Justin Shafer

Oh, nevermind. Muckrock fixed the portal info link for me. Thank you.

From: Justin Shafer

OCR, why was my FOIA request closed?

From: Melinda

To Whom It May Concern,

We are unable to access the related documents uploaded by your office as the FOIA request had been subsequently closed. Please advise as this request remains unfulfilled at this time.

Thank You,

Melinda

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