As a standard part of Elder Law Planning, we typically explore executing new Medical Powers of Attorney for our clients. Of course, doing so involves more than just he POA itself. Medical Powers of Attorney can be virtually worthless without a HIPPA release.
HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was passed by Congress in 1996. HIPAA does the following:
Provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs;
Reduces health care fraud and abuse;
Mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes; and
Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information
It is this last element of HIPPA that can be problematic in the Power of Attorney situation. A health care Power of Attorney can hardly be expected to make valid health care decisions without access to treatment and diagnosis records that will help the POA to understand what the needs of their principals (the patient). So, every POA for Health Care should have a recent, up to date, HIPPA release form attached. It just makes good common sense.
This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.