HIPAA Authorization:

A HIPAA “authorization” is required by the HIPAA Privacy Rule for uses and disclosures of protected health information not otherwise allowed by the Rule. Where the Privacy Rule requires patient authorization, voluntary consent is not sufficient to permit a use or disclosure of protected health information unless it also satisfies the requirements of a valid authorization. An authorization is a detailed document that gives covered entities permission to use protected health information for specified purposes, which are generally other than treatment, payment, or health care operations, or to disclose protected health information to a third party specified by the individual.

An authorization must specify a number of elements, including a description of the protected health information to be used and disclosed, the person authorized to make the use or disclosure, the person to whom the covered entity may make the disclosure, an expiration date, and, in some cases, the purpose for which the information may be used or disclosed. With limited exceptions, covered entities may not condition treatment or coverage on the individual providing an authorization.

Why should I have HIPAA Authorization?

Medical Insurance companies and health care providers alike face stiff civil penalaties for violating the HIPAA rules. A Medical Power of Attorney should be enough to authorize the disclosure of your private medical information to your agent, but sometimes that is not enough for the insurance company or health care provider. The HIPAA Authorization form eliminates that possibility. Let's say your agent or spouse needs to talk with your doctor about a bill or wants to inquire about costs that an insurer will cover. Without a HIPAA Authorization, they will not be able to release those information.

Directive to Physician

The Directive becomes effective - meaning that life-sustaining treatment can be withdrawn - only when you become a "qualified patient." A qualified patient means a patient with a terminal or irreversible condition that has been diagnosed and certified in writing by the attending physician. You may designate another person to make treatment decisions for you if you become incompetent, or are otherwise mentally or physically incapable of communication. However, you do not have to do so in order for the Directive to be a legal document. If you do, that designated person may also execute an out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate order.

Appointment of Guardian:

Competent surviving parents of a minor or a disabled child may designate a guardian to care for their child(ren) in the event both parents die or are disabled. Without an Appointment of Guardian or mention of a preferred guardian in another estate planning document, the court will appointment a guardian for your child(ren). t is important to seek legal counsel and to appoint a guardian for your child(ren) so that YOU have the final say in who cares for your child(ren) in case you are unable to do so.