Palm Springs HIPAA Authorization Attorney

Completing an Advance Health Care Directive is one of the best ways to protect yourself should you become incapacitated. Due to federal HIPAA laws, you will also need to provide authorization to ensure that the representative you’ve chosen can access your medical information. A HIPAA authorization allows your healthcare provider to release your health information to a person or people you select.

Consult With an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

At Heritage Legal, PC, we help our clients navigate the complexities of HIPAA authorization and other aspects of estate planning. After carefully listening to your concerns and needs, Christopher will assist you in completing your HIPAA authorization. He is here to make estate planning simple and convenient by offering knowledgeable legal guidance. Contact Heritage Legal, PC, today to schedule a consultation with a skilled Palm Springs estate planning lawyer.

Understanding the HIPAA Privacy Rule

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA is a federal law that has been in effect since 1996. The primary purpose of HIPAA is to prohibit your health care and health insurance providers from sharing your personal health information with anyone other than you.

There are exceptions to this general principle. For example, in specific situations, your healthcare provider or insurance company can share information for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations necessary for health plans and providers to function. HIPAA specifically prohibits medical providers and insurance companies from sharing your protected health information (PHI). Your PHI includes all of your medical records and many other forms of personal information used to identify you, such as:

  • Your social security number
  • Your name and date of birth
  • Your phone number, mailing address, email address, and residential address
  • Your medical and financial account and record numbers
  • Your vehicle license plate numbers and other identifiers
  • Photographs and videos of you
  • Biometric identifiers, including retinal scans and fingerprints.

Why You Need a HIPAA Authorization

The HIPAA Privacy Rule prevents healthcare professionals from intentionally or inadvertently giving someone else your private medical information. While this law protects us from our information being shared, it can also be an obstacle. For example, when a person is involved in an accident and needs emergency treatment, family members want the doctor in charge to provide them with updates. Due to the HIPAA privacy rule, doctors cannot provide family members updates without authorization, even in emergencies.

Should you become incapacitated, your loved ones will not receive updates on your medical status. By signing a HIPAA authorization form, you can allow your treating physician to disclose your protected health information to a person or people you trust. Completing a HIPAA authorization form allows your spouse, partner, or family to be informed of your health status. You can also make sure that your health care agent or conservator has the necessary background information to make decisions in the best interest of your health.

How To Complete a HIPAA Authorization Form

Completing a HIPAA authorization is a relatively straightforward process, and is included in your Advance Health Care Directive. Specifically, you will need to identify the following clearly:

  • The name of the person or organization you are giving the authorization to release your information, such as your doctor or health insurance provider
  • The name of the person or organization with whom the information should be shared; for example, your family member or your appointed health care attorney-in-fact
  • The reason for releasing your personal health information
  • The date or criteria for the expiration of the authorization

After completing the Advance Health Care Directive with HIPAA authorization, you will need to sign and date the form for it to take effect. You may need to have the form notarized. If you are incapacitated, your appointed health care agent or conservator has the right to complete your form for you in your place. Thinking about the possibility of becoming incapacitated is challenging. You may have questions about who you should authorize to receive your medical updates or how to answer questions for your Advance Health Care Directive. Attorney Christopher Heritage provides empathetic legal representation. He will listen to your concerns and carefully answer your questions.

Why You Should Incorporate a HIPAA Authorization Into Your Estate Plan

A HIPAA authorization is an important part of a comprehensive estate plan, and it works hand-in-hand with a revocable living trust or will. A living trust, financial powers of attorney, and advance directives are all important to address the possibility of becoming incapacitated. A HIPAA form is just as important. Without access to your medical records, the effectiveness of other important estate planning documents will be diminished.

Firstly, a valid HIPAA authorization will allow your family members to access your medical records. Accessing your medical records will enable them to make more informed health care decisions on your behalf. Remember, you can choose which person will have access to your medical records, and we recommend only choosing a person you trust.

Secondly, a HIPAA authorization will also allow your family members to receive updates about your medical condition. If you have a living trust, you can complete a HIPAA authorization permitting successor trustee of your trust to receive your medical information should you become incapacitated. Finally, a valid HIPAA authorization enables your loved ones to access your medical bills associated with your health care. They can ensure that your medical bills have been paid or dispute any incorrect charges on your behalf.

Discuss Your Case With a HIPAA Authorization Attorney

If you would like guidance in completing your HIPAA authorization, attorney Christopher Heritage of Heritage Legal, PC, is here to help. He assists clients throughout the Palm Springs area with HIPAA authorization forms and more comprehensive estate planning solutions, including wills, trusts, and advance healthcare directives. Contact him today to schedule your initial consultation to learn more.

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