Privacy Regulations Impact You and Every Member of Your Family
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued final regulations regarding the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as "HIPAA."
The new regulations have caused turmoil throughout the medical industry, as doctors, hospitals, nursing home facilities and other Covered Entities are now subject to sanctions, monetary fines, and even imprisonment for the unauthorized disclosure of Private Health Information.
Fearing the heavy hand of the government, health care providers have clamped down on the release of medical records and other health care information to anyone other than the patient. This means that if you are hospitalized, even your trustee, attorney-in-fact, close family members and clergy may not be able to receive information about the status of your condition or even your room number!
You can avoid this. With the proper HIPAA authorization documents, you can have information provided to those you choose.
We suggest that all previously signed Revocable Living Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney; Living Wills; Directives to Physician, and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care should be updated immediately to comply with the new HIPAA privacy rules.
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