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.
See below to download our Tip Sheet for Giving Your Advocate Access to Healthcare Information.
The US Department of Health and Human Services provides guidance to clear up the common misconceptions about HIPAA. You can find that information here:
- Your Rights Under HIPAA
- Your Health Care Information: Your Rights
- A Patient's Guide to the HIPAA Privacy Rule(pdf)
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 is handy in cases like emergency room visits when encountering new health care providers. Your elder law attorney can create a document, or you can download this form from The American Bar Association.
How Care is There Geriatric Care Management Can Help
- Be your advocate at routine medical appointments and during emergencies
- Keep loved ones informed about your health status
- Ensure your chosen advocates have access to necessary health care information
Contact Care is There Geriatric Care Management by calling 800.434.1633 or Info@CareisThere.com.
- Help Your Aging Parents Prepare for a Medical Emergency
- How to Advocate for an Elderly Loved One at Medical Appointments
- How to Be An Effective Advocate for an Elderly Loved One or Client