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HIPAA family authorization: Critical information to understand

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2020 | Health Care Directives

Individuals in Florida and around the nation want to take care of their family members. However, because of laws such as HIPAA, that is not always the easiest thing to do. When there is a family member who may be having medical issues that they are not disclosing to their family, their loved ones may want to take action. How can you obtain information regarding a relative’s health? The following includes important information regarding HIPAA and how you may be able to receive authorization.

What is HIPAA?

In 1996, the federal government created HIPPA to develop a guideline on medical privacy. It is often known as the Privacy Rule. This means that doctors, insurance companies and other professionals involved in your health care cannot openly communicate about your health without your authorization.

Written authorization

Perhaps the easiest way to obtain access to a relative’s medical records is to have them sign an authorization form. This means that they are legally allowing you access to their medical records.

Permitted disclosures

In cases of extreme circumstances such as an older parent facing serious medical issues, a permitted disclosure may be allowed. This is when the relative’s doctor is allowed to present health care information to their immediate family. It should be noted that a doctor is not legally required to disclose the information.

A permitted disclosure may be your best bet in obtaining a loved one’s medical information. However, the list of these permitted disclosures is long and often complex. That is why it may be helpful to obtain the services of a personal attorney with experience in HIPPA.