HIPAA Protects Patient Privacy
The “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996” (also known as HIPAA) is a Federal Law which protects patient information from being shared with anyone other than the patient. Part of HIPAA is what is known as the Security Rule which requires medical providers to ensure electronic health information is secure. All electronic, written and oral communication regarding a patient’s medical records is protected by the Privacy Rule.
In order to make sure your loved ones can get the information they need to make medical decisions on your behalf, you need to sign a Health Care Directive and grant explicit permission for them to have access to your records.
Who Is Not Required to Follow HIPAA?
While you may assume your personal health information is protected by HIPAA regardless of who possesses the information, there are entities that are NOT required to abide by the privacy rules set out in HIPAA. The following are some examples:
- Workers Compensation Insurance Companies
- Life Insurance Companies
- Several Schools
- State Agencies (such as child protective services)
It is important to keep track of your paperwork and to understand your rights as a patient as well as those of your family while you are in a medical facility.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman can provide you with information to protect your information and provide your loved ones the documents they need to care for you properly in the event you need help. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.