New Bern, Craven County, Elder Law Lawyer
THE HIPAA AUTHORIZATION
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), is a Federal law that, among other things, is designed to protect the privacy of patients’ health care information. HIPAA limits health care providers and insurance companies from sharing your protected health information with third parties. A HIPAA authorization allows you to name an individual(s) who can have access to your medical information so that your health care provider or insurance company will have no reservations about sharing your protected medical information with them. The HIPAA release allows the designated individual(s) access to both the principal’s medical records as well as the right to be present during discussion the patient’s medical treatment.
While it is true that a Health Care Power of Attorney can contain language that authorizes your health care agent to access protected health care information, please keep in mind that your agent may only act after a doctor has certified your that you are unable to make health care decisions. Additionally, given the harsh penalties that health care providers and insurance companies can receive if they are found in violation of HIPAA protections, a separate HIPPA authorization document is generally advisable.