Virginia Beach HIPAA Authorization Lawyer
An Important Piece of Your Comprehensive Estate Plan
When planning your estate, it’s crucial to ensure your loved ones have access to your essential medical information if necessary. A comprehensive estate plan will include documents like powers of attorney and advance health care directives that allow people you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so during a period of physical or mental incapacity. But this authority is of little use if the people you designate can’t have access to your medical records and personal health information. That’s where HIPAA authorizations come in. The Law Office of Angela N. Manz is well-versed in guiding clients through the intricacies of HIPAA authorizations, ensuring that their wishes are taken into consideration when it comes to medical matters. Learn about this critical piece of estate planning below, and contact The Law Office of Angela N. Manz to speak with one of our experienced Virginia Beach HIPAA Authorization lawyers.
What Is HIPAA, and What Is HIPAA Authorization?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law enacted in 1996 to protect health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they switch jobs or if they lose their jobs. HIPAA also addressed how a patient’s medical records are handled in the modern electronic and digital age, establishing safeguards to prevent such personal information from unauthorized access. It is this HIPAA Privacy Rule that gets the most attention, giving rise to the necessity of including a HIPAA Authorization in your estate plan.
A HIPAA Authorization is a legal document that grants specific individuals access to your protected health information with your permission. Without this authorization, healthcare providers are restricted by the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which prohibits the release of medical information without a patient’s direct consent. Without a HIPAA Authorization, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies are forbidden by law from releasing personal information to anyone, even your spouse and other members of your immediate family.
A HIPAA Authorization is therefore an essential component of your estate plan. It provides the following benefits, among others:
- Timely Access to Medical Information: In emergency situations, having immediate access to pertinent medical information can make a significant difference in decision-making and ensuring that medical treatment aligns with a patient’s wishes.
- Facilitating Health Care Decisions: Agents under a Power of Attorney for Health Care, or other health care decision-makers, may need this information to make informed decisions on behalf of someone who is incapacitated.
- Preventing Legal Complications: With a clear HIPAA Authorization, there’s less likelihood of family members facing legal roadblocks when trying to obtain necessary medical information.
Who Should Be Listed on Your HIPAA Authorization?
When creating a HIPAA Authorization, it’s important to consider whom you want to trust with your medical information. Common designees include:
- Family members, such as spouses, adult children, or parents
- Health care agents named in a Power of Attorney for Health Care (Healthcare Proxy)
- Trusted friends
- Other individuals involved in your estate or health care planning
How to Set Up a HIPAA Authorization in Virginia
To establish a HIPAA Authorization:
- Consult with an Experienced Attorney: The Law Office of Angela N. Manz can provide guidance tailored to your individual needs.
- Specify the Information to be Disclosed: Determine which medical details you’d like to share, such as medical records, treatment information, or billing details.
- Designate the Recipients: Clearly name the individuals you trust to receive and handle your health information.
- State the Duration: Indicate how long the authorization is valid. It can be indefinitely or for a specific period.
- Sign and Notarize: After reviewing, sign the document in the presence of a notary.
At The Law Office of Angela N. Manz, we include HIPAA Authorizations as part of our overall comprehensive estate planning package. We will include this document along with your will, revocable living trust, advance directives and powers of attorney. Once prepared, we go over all the documents with you in one appointment to make sure you understand them and can sign and notarize everything all at once. Of course, if you already have other estate planning documents in place and only need a HIPAA Authorization, we can prepare one for you upon request.
Secure Your Medical Information in Virginia Beach With The Law Office of Angela N. Manz
HIPAA Authorizations might seem like a minor aspect of estate planning, but they play a critical role in ensuring that your loved ones have the necessary tools to care for you, should the need arise. The Law Office of Angela N. Manz in Virginia Beach has the expertise and dedication to help you navigate the process seamlessly. By incorporating HIPAA Authorizations into your estate plan, you are taking a proactive step toward a comprehensive and effective plan that safeguards both your well-being and your legacy. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs and goals.