Your Medical Records and HIPAA – Overview

Your Medical Records and HIPAA – Overview

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

Medical Records and HIPAA.

What is HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? It is a law to protect your private health information.

While the law protects the privacy of your medical information, it can prevent a loved one from seeing your medical records to help you out.

Key issue – you need to authorize people you will rely on to have access to your medical information.

Two key ways to do this are:

  • Health Proxy – your health care proxy document that appoints an agent to make health care decisions for you should have HIPAA language. If you don’t see mention of HIPAA it doesn’t and you need to revise it.
  • HIPAA Release. This is a special document that merely authorizes a person to see your medical records.

HIPAA release is a simple and short one or two page document that authorizes someone to see your medical information.

  • Why use it? If you have surgery but will be fine, no pull the plug decisions in a health care proxy or living will are in issue, but you might want a loved one to be able to monitor your care.

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