Why would I need to share my information?
There are many reasons when you’d need someone else to access your personal medical information.
If you’re a patient, you’ll need to give your personal health information to a doctor, hospital, or health care provider. Then, those people who handle private records often, (like doctors, hospitals, and health care providers) may need to get authorization from their patients to share with an attorney or other party.
For example, you might grant your attorney access to your health information to prove your injury wasn’t pre-existing if you’re pursuing an injury claim. You may also want to grant permission to your healthcare agent to question your doctor about a bill if you are hospitalized or incapacitated.
So how does a HIPAA authorization form help share my information?
It’s easy for you to grant someone access to your private medical records. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was put in place to help ensure the privacy and ease of access of your medical records.
A HIPAA authorization form is a document in that allows an appointed person or party to share specific health information with another person or group. Your appointed person can be a doctor, a hospital, or a health care provider, as well as certain other entities such as an attorney. That health information could be medical records, drug or alcohol treatment, or anything similar.
What are the restrictions on how my information is shared and who it is shared with?
Don’t worry, your whole medical background won’t be revealed unless it absolutely has to be. Information in a HIPAA authorization form is called “protected information.” Protected information includes your name, address, phone number, Social Security Number, as well as the specific health information described in the document.
It’s important to note that HIPAA uses goes a standard of “minimum necessary.” This means that your doctor or healthcare provider can only provide information that is needed to accomplish the intended purpose.
In other words, HIPAA is a safeguard on how many people can view your personal information. However, bear in mind that multiple people in a hospital may have access to your information to properly carry out your medical processes if you are incapacitated.
What isn’t protected by HIPAA?
However, certain things are beyond your control and cannot be protected by HIPAA. For example, if your doctor or health care provider is required to disclose information to federal, state, or local authorities, they must do so.
Also, if you are exposed to a disease that may spread, your doctor can notify the appropriate health officials. You can check out the full list of exceptions to HIPAA privacy at www.privacyrights.org.
What do I need to include in my HIPAA?
A HIPAA authorization form should state who the patient is and exactly to whom the patient is disclosing their health information. Under the Privacy Act of HIPAA laws, you must include a description of the information being disclosed. This way, you can specifically describe what information should be revealed, in case there is a violation of your privacy.
Remember, only the minimum necessary will be revealed. This legal form must also include an expiration date. This way, after the specific date or event, the HIPAA can be discarded.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.