The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) established national standards to protect the privacy of a person’s health care information. The Privacy Rule took effect in 2001 and mandated that health care providers and insurance companies who released medical information about their patients could be subject to civil fines, criminal penalties and even imprisonment.
The penalties associated with violating HIPAA often makes health care providers extremely reluctant to share medical information with anyone except the patient. Unfortunately, this can include family members, spouses and childrenthe very people you might want to know how you are and to be there with you in an emergency. You can imagine the frustration and stress this situation would cause for your loved ones. At the same time, you could be denied the love and support of the people who matter to you in life at the very time you need them most.
Fortunately, there is a legal solution to this dilemma. With a HIPAA authorization, you can specify in advance the individuals authorized to have access to your medical information. This will make care providers far more likely to share information about your condition with the people you want in an emergency medical situation. In addition, it will allow them to be there for you in your hour of need.
If you need to know more about HIPAA compliance or believe a physician or medical facility is in breach of HIPAA regulations, get in touch with an experienced attorney today.