Why do I need a HIPAA authorization?
Having a HIPAA authorization document helps enable healthcare providers and insurance companies share information with people you trust. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that was passed to help protect the privacy of our health care information. Basically it prevents health care providers and insurance companies from sharing your protected health care information without your authorization. If they do share your information with someone without your authorization, even with close family members, they could potentially face big fines and possibly even go to jail.
These protections are good, because they help protect your private information. However, there are situations where you really might want someone that you trust to be able to be able to access your health care information. For example, you might want your agent to be able to discuss a bill with your insurance company, especially during a time that you might be incapacitated due to an illness or injury.
What is a HIPAA authorization?
A HIPAA authorization is a detailed document that gives entities like doctors’ offices and insurance companies permission to share your health care information with someone that you choose. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was written to prevent health care providers and insurance companies from sharing your private health care information, but a HIPAA authorization allows them to share your information with someone that you trust.
Does a HIPAA authorization need to be notarized?
A HIPPA authorization does not need to be notarized, but it does need to be signed by you to be legally valid.
If I have a medical power of attorney, then why should I also have a HIPAA authorization?
A properly written medical power of attorney would authorize your health care provider to share your protected medical information, but only under certain circumstances. A medical power of attorney only gives your designated agent the authority to access this information if your attending physician certifies that you are incompetent, and you may want someone to have access to your records before it gets to that point or even after you are no longer deemed incompetent. Plus, even if you have a properly written medical power of attorney and you are certified as incompetent, some insurance companies still might not talk to your designated agent. They still might be scared of possibly getting fined or even going to jail. To make sure your health care provider or insurance company is not afraid to share your medical information with your trusted agent it is best to also have a HIPAA authorization.
How can I revoke a HIPAA authorization?
You can revoke a HIPAA authorization at any time. The revocation must be in writing, and it is not effective until the covered entity in the original authorization, like a health care provider or insurance company, receives the revocation document.
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