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HIPAA Effects on Power of Attorney

When establishing a great estate plan strategy to protect your loved ones, there are some areas that are often left out or forgotten. One of these areas includes understanding the effects of HIPAA on your medical power of attorney. Phelps LaClair serves Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler where we are dedicated to setting up your loved ones for the future so they do not have any issues arising from lack of planning. HIPAA can seem scary but it’s not so bad once you understand it.

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, established in 1996. The goal of this act is to protect health insurance coverage for workers and their families when job loss or job change occurs. Another goal of this act was meant to protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals’ health data. The overall goal is to improve the efficiency of the medical care system and protect those who are interacting with it.

HIPAA and Power of Attorney in Gilbert

A Power of Attorney in Gilbert allows someone to act on your behalf for medical decisions if you become unable to do so. For someone to be able to effectively provide the best decisions for your health care, they need access to your medical information. In hospitals, this information is labeled as private and confidential under the HIPAA act, which prevents disclosure of the information to unauthorized individuals. It is imperative for you to sign HIPAA release forms that allow your designated Power of Attorney to have access to your medical information, be able to speak with your doctors, and gain ability to make decisions for you if needed.

How This Affects You

The importance of this will come about when you have a loved one in the hospital. If your loved one is unable to make decisions for themselves, or unable to respond due to an accident, you may not be able to know what is going on if you are not authorized. Under the HIPAA laws, a doctor cannot and will not disclose, to anyone who is a third party, the medical information and treatment plan for their patient. This can become frustrating if you are unable to know what type of care the doctors will provide, their plan of action, or even what is happening.

To avoid the frustrations, devastation, and pain of not having access to medical information for you or your loved ones, contact us today! We want to help ensure your estate plan is in place, but also that your power of attorney is HIPAA compliant.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/13/2017) Patrick Emerson (Flickr)

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