When someone is undergoing medical treatment, it is often important and helpful for them to keep certain trusted individuals up-to-date on their status. A parent, spouse, child, or friend of a patient may need to interact with doctors on a patient’s behalf and to make sure the patient is receiving the care they need. However, under federal law, health care providers are generally prohibited from sharing information about patients. A HIPAA Release allows healthcare providers to share “protected health information” (PHI) with designated parties.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 2001 to protect the privacy of medical patients. The Act generally prohibits medical care providers (doctors, hospitals, healthcare providers) from disclosing information about the people they treat without permission. While this permission can sometimes be granted by the patient as needed, other times the patient may be unable to communicate for long periods of time. A HIPAA release allows individuals to consent in advance to having their information shared with certain people, like parents, children, or close friends, in case they are unable to consent in the future. This allows doctors to keep the designated third parties up-to-date on important developments in the patient’s status.
If you are interested in learning more about HIPAA Releases and other options for directing your future medical care, please contact Kirker|Davis today.