MANY HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVES DON’T CONTAIN THE NECESSARY RELEASE
If you already have health care documents or Advance Directives prepared, are you sure you have a HIPAA Release? Many Florida Estate Plans prepared several years ago may not contain the required HIPAA language.
Having Advance Directives in place is a critical part of Estate Planning. An Advance Directive is a legal document stating your directions and wishes as to your future medical and health care in the event you become unable to make those decisions yourself. Living Wills and Health Care Surrogate Designation are types of Advance Directives.
In conjunction with your Advance Directive, it is important to have a signed and witnessed document called a HIPAA Release form. Without this document, your health care providers may not legally be able to disclose critical medical information to the person you have chosen to make health care decisions for you, should you become incapacitated.
Visit the Flammia Elder Law Firm’s Family Education Center to access FREE videos and other helpful information. You can also learn more about HIPAA by attending one of our Free Live Workshops.
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HIPAA Release FAQ
What Is HIPAA?
HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA is a federal law that limits who can view your medical information.
The accountability part of this Act means that your doctors, pharmacists, nursing homes, insurance companies, and other health care professionals are bound by law to totally protect and secure your health and medical information. They must refrain from the unauthorized disclosure of what is called your “personal health information,” including:
- Any information that can be used to identify you (name, address, social security number, telephone number, patient account number)
- Anything about your physical or mental medical condition and treatment
- Billing and payment records
How does a HIPAA Release affect an Estate Plan?
HIPAA regulations affect your Living Will, your Health Care Surrogate, and certain Powers of Attorney and Trusts—where access to medical and health care information may be required. HIPAA actually limits everyone’s access to your medical records, even your spouse, your parents, and your children.
Without question, your Estate Planning documents need to include a HIPAA Release. As part of your comprehensive Estate Plan, the Flammia Elder Law Firm will incorporate all necessary HIPAA authorization and release documentation required to ensure that your designated family members or health care agents will be able to access your medical records.
How can I make sure that my current Estate Plan includes the right HIPAA release?
A consultation with the Flammia Elder Law Firm will ease your mind. We would be happy to review your documents in order to make certain the proper authorization and releases are in good order.