Cortes Law Firm, which is based in Oklahoma City, OK, has released a blog post that explains the importance of a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Authorization. This is a document that provides someone, typically one’s trustee and health care power of attorney, the power to have access to one’s medical records for the purpose of discussing one’s health with the medical providers. This is important because of the restriction imposed by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The HIPAA Authorization has to be written in plain language, has to be in writing, and must contain certain statements and elements for it to be valid. It should also be used with a Living Will.
Important elements that have to be included in the HIPAA Authorization are: a description of the protected health information (PHI); the name of the person making the authorization; the name of the person or organization who is authorized to receive the PHI; a description of the use or purpose of the disclosure; an expiration date for the authorization; and the signature of the person making the authorization.
Meanwhile, it should also contain the following statements: the person who gave the authorization has the right to revoke the authorization in writing at any time and a description of how they may revoke is also provided; the person’s payment, treatment, enrollment, or eligibility for benefits is not based on whether they signed the authorization or not; and any information revealed because of the authorization may be re-disclosed by a recipient and will no longer be subject to federal or state health privacy laws.
And it is important to understand the difference between right of access and authorization. The most notable difference is that “right of access” is a patient’s right to gain access to their own medical records while “authorization” refers to the patient’s consent to disclose PHI to a third party. However, it is possible for patients to use their right of access to request that their records be sent to a third party, for instance, a health care records app.
And it should be pointed out that patients giving reviews or testimonials on the website or Facebook page of a healthcare provider can’t be regarded as automatic HIPAA Authorization for their name or any other information about them to be used. Even just the name of the patient, connected to the healthcare provider is considered as PHI under HIPAA, and should never be disclosed on the Facebook page or website without a valid authorization. The solution for healthcare providers is to get an authorization for testimonials, the use of social media or photos, in advance.
Steve Cortes established the Cortes Law Firm in 2013 to provide probate and estate planning services for individuals, families, companies, and business owners in the Oklahoma City area. He is active in WealthCounsel, a national organization of leading professionals who provide advice on estate planning. He has been providing legal services for estate planning for various kinds of clients for more than 22 years. They discuss with the client the importance of titling assets and they will prepare various documents that will ensure the wishes of their clients will be followed. Attorney Steve Cortes says, “As your estate planning lawyer in Oklahoma City, I know that each individual and family is unique. That is why we take time at the beginning of each relationship to sit down and visit with you regarding your estate planning goals and dreams to carefully listen to your worries and fears. We are proud to provide each client personal representation and individual attention. It’s important to work closely with your estate planning attorney to make certain that all of your assets are distributed according to your wishes – and done so with the least amount of cost and time delay.”
To get more information about the HIPAA Authorization or other details about estate planning, people can go to the Cortes Law Firm website or contact them on the telephone or via email. They are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, from Monday to Friday.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
Stephen Cortes is an Oklahoma City attorney with over 22 years of legal experience. We have a unique perspective on how important proper planning can be for businesses, entrepreneurs, and families.
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