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San Francisco HIPAA Authorization Attorney

Richmond District HIPAA authorization lawyer

Lawyer Helping Clients Authorize Release of Medical Records in the Bay Area

As you develop your estate plan, one important element is ensuring that you will receive quality healthcare if you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions on your own. You can often accomplish this by establishing a health care power of attorney or nominating a conservator of your person, both of whom are empowered to make decisions on your behalf. However, due to federal HIPAA laws, you will likely need to provide authorization to ensure your representative is able to access your medical information.

At the Law Office of Martin Alperen, we help our clients navigate the complexities of estate planning, including important decisions related to healthcare. We make estate planning simple and convenient by offering knowledgeable legal guidance and meeting you on your own terms, either virtually or at a location of your choice.

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that has been in effect since 1996. One of its most important provisions is the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which prohibits your healthcare and health insurance providers, as well as their business associates, from sharing your personal health information with anyone except for you, unless for the purposes of treatment, payment, or healthcare operations that are necessary for providers and health plans to function.

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, your protected health information (PHI) includes all of your medical records as well as many forms of personal information that can be used to identify you, including but not limited to:

  • Your name and date of birth
  • Your phone number, email address, mailing address, and residential address
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your medical and financial account and record numbers
  • Your vehicle license plate numbers and other identifiers
  • Photographs and videos of you, as well as biometric identifiers such as fingerprints and retinal scans

Why Do I Need a HIPAA Authorization?

While the HIPAA Privacy Rule protects your information from falling into the wrong hands, it also may present an obstacle to sharing your medical information with your spouse or partner, family members, or chosen representatives. This may be an issue especially if you become incapacitated, but it can be an inconvenience any time you receive medical care or treatment.

If at any point you wish to allow for the disclosure of your PHI to someone you trust, you should complete a HIPAA authorization form. You can choose to do so for any reason, including to keep your spouse, partner, or family informed, or to make sure your healthcare surrogate, attorney-in-fact, or conservator has the necessary background to make decisions in the interest of your health.

How Do I Complete a HIPAA Authorization in San Francisco?

Providing HIPAA authorization typically requires that you fill out a form, one version of which is provided by the California Department of Health Care Services. On the form, you should clearly identify the following:

  • The name of the person or organization you are authorizing to release your information, for example, your doctor or health insurance provider
  • The name of the person or organization with whom the information should be shared, for example, your family member or health care attorney-in-fact
  • The type of information you wish to release
  • The reason for releasing your information
  • The date or criteria for the expiration of the authorization

You must sign and date the form for the authorization to take effect, and you may need to have it notarized. If you are incapacitated, your health care attorney-in-fact or conservator may complete the form in your stead to allow the disclosure of your information to your family members or other parties.

Contact a Bay Area HIPAA Authorization Attorney

If you are looking for guidance in the completion of your HIPAA authorization or you require assistance with more comprehensive estate planning solutions, including advanced healthcare directives, wills, and trusts, contact us today at 415-534-1200 for a free consultation. We assist clients throughout San Francisco County, Alameda County, Marin County, and the Bay Area, including the North Bay, East Bay, the Peninsula, and the surrounding areas.

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