By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA, as amended, protects your rights to your medical information, “Protected Health Information” or PHI, for short. HIPAA is to assure you access to your medical information, while simultaneously preventing others who should not have access to it from obtaining it. These rules have broad implications to a wide range of personal, estate planning, and business transactions. Powers of attorney, health care proxies, trusts, revocable living trusts, shareholder agreements, etc. all need to include provisions addressing HIPAA. Without doing so, if a medical determination needs to be made (e.g., is the current trustee unable to serve so a successor can take over) the will be no legal authority for the medical providers to communicate with those that need the information.

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