HIPAA is meant to protect your privacy, but misunderstandings about the law can cause unintended snags for you, your advocate, and your health care team.
HIPAA stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” of 1996, which includes the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The Rule was not designed to get in your way! But well-meaning staff in medical settings can sometimes keep medical information from your loved ones and professional advocates in a misguided attempt to protect your privacy.
The US Department of Health and Human Services provides a guide to clear up the common misconceptions about HIPAA. You can download it in pdf form here.
You can make things much easier by documenting your intentions to share information in a form recognized by healthcare professionals – a HIPAA authorization form. Written authorization of permission is not required by HIPAA, but many healthcare providers require it.
- Ask for the HIPAA forms at every health care provider’s office that you visit and fill them out in accordance with your wishes. This approach is effective because each health care provider has their own process and their own forms. If information is needed quickly, it is easiest for the staff of the medical office to find and relate to the forms familiar to them.
- Sign a general HIPAA release form that identifies the people with which you want their health care providers to share information, and give it to your advocates so they can present it to any healthcare provider. This can be a form created by your elder law attorney. At Care is There Geriatric Care Management, we also have a form that our clients can choose to use. This is handy in cases like emergency room visits when encountering new health care providers.
Visit our solutions page about HIPAA: Giving Your Advocate Access to Healthcare Information for tips sheets and more.
You might also be interested in these other solutions:
For more articles like this, see: Long Distance Caregiving, Resources for Central Virginia, Aging in Place, Care for the Caregiver, Communicating with Senior Citizens, Legal and Financial, Resources for Central Virginia – Charlottesville, Resources for Central Virginia – Harrisonburg, Resources for Central Virginia – Staunton, Resources for Kansas City, Resources for Johnson County KS, Resources for Kansas, Resources for Missouri.
Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?
Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or email@example.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement, Aging Life Care™ services, and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.
AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.