We Help with HIPAA Authorization Forms

We do not help with HIPAA violations, we help design and implement
HIPAA authroization forms for individuals and families.

Cholewka Law Helps Design and Implement
HIPAA Authorization Forms

Authorization and Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed by Congress in 1996, to allow authorization of certain medical information to be given to certain people. Unfortunately, Congress did not make the rules that govern HIPAA compliance widely known until 2001, which means if your documents were created before 2001, they are not HIPAA-compliant, and you’ll need to go through the process again. In Arizona, HIPAA authorization must be in a separate legal writing.

What Is HIPAA?

HIPAA rules keep your health information private. HIPAA requires all medical care providers, such as doctors, pharmacies, nurses, and hospitals, to keep your medical information private. The Privacy Rule of 2001 placed HIPAA in the spotlight, and now every medical office knows the importance of HIPAA compliance.

Penalties

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.

What medical information is considered private?

Protected Health Information (PHI) includes information such as diagnoses, treatment information, medical test results, and prescription information. Demographic information such as gender, birth date, ethnicity, and contact and emergency contact information are also PHI. Both physical records as well as electronic records are subject to protection.

Who must comply with HIPAA laws?

HIPAA requires all medical care providers, such as doctors, pharmacies, nurses, and hospitals, or any organization in possession of patient health information to keep all medical information private.

If a medical facility discloses private patient health information without the patient’s consent, it is in violation of the Privacy Rule.

Can my spouse get access to my health information?

Legally, no one can get access to your medical information unless you have given them specific permission to do so. Each state has set forth requirements of how to grant access. Some states only require that you verbally grant permission. Other states require that permission is granted in writing. If a state requires written permission, under HIPAA that written document must be separate from any other document such as a POA or Living Will.

How do I grant someone access to my information?

For states that allow it, you may verbally tell a medical provider whom you would like to give access to your PHI. For states that require a writing, a HIPAA Authorization allows you to grant someone access to your PHI.

Even if you live in a state that only requires verbal permission to release your PHI, it is best to grant this authorization in writing as you may be in a position where you cannot give verbal authority. For example, you may be unconscious, unable to communicate, or incapacitated.

Why should I have a HIPAA authorization?

A HIPAA authorization allows your medical agents to make informed choices when they are making your medical decisions. Having information regarding your medical condition, diagnoses, and medications will help them choose the best course of action for doctors to take. If they do not have access to this information, they will be asked to make decisions in a vacuum.

Additionally, if you want loved ones to call a hospital to check on you, or ask your doctor how are doing, they will need to have HIPAA authorization to have those discussions.

What if someone discloses my information without my authorization?

Under HIPAA, an individual cannot file a lawsuit against a provider for violating the Privacy Rule. You may (and should) contact the Office of Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to file a complaint. You can obtain a complaint form at hhs.gov/hipaa.  

Additionally, each state’s Attorney General is authorized to bring lawsuits under HIPAA on behalf of individuals. The Attorney General will share any proceeds from a lawsuit with those individuals whose rights were violated.

Improper disclosure of your information may also violate other state or federal laws. If you believe a physician or medical facility is in breach of the Privacy Rule, get in touch with an experienced civil litigation attorney licensed in your state of residence to discuss any potential claims. As many of these claims have a short statute of limitations, don’t delay.  

Contact us today for assistance with designing and implementing your HIPAA authorization. And enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved ones will have access to your medical information and condition in an emergency.

Solutions - Not Documents

Cholewka Law provides Estate Planning Solutions, not just boiler plate documents.

Schedule Your Free Right Fit Meeting Today.