Burbank Estate Planning Attorney
Burbank Elder Law Lawyer
“Failing to plan is planning to FAIL.” - Ben Franklin
What is HIPAA?
LA LAW Estate Planning Attorneys are dedicated to helping you stay in control and protecting your assets, your life and your legacy!
Doctors do not want to be fined or imprisoned and are being very strict about not giving health information to anyone without written content… meaning the HIPPA Release Form! You must give written permission for your representative to have access to your medical information, in case of an emergency or sudden incapacity!
This is a federal act (Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which was passed in 1996, helps ensure that privacy is maintained in regards to patients’ medical records. It also created a set of standards to which all electronic medical records must adhere.
HIPAA Privacy Rule Overview:
1. Patients maintain control over the use of their health information and who a health provider is allowed to give that information to
2. Sets boundaries for the use/disclosure of health records by covered entities
3. Establishes national-level standards that healthcare providers must comply with
4. Controls the use of Public Health Information (PHI) and minimizes chances of inappropriate disclosure
5. Investigates compliance-related issues and holds violators accountable with civil or criminal penalties for violating the privacy of an individual's PHI
The HIPPA Privacy Rule was established to regulate the sharing of Public Health Information without making it a deterrent for accessing healthcare facilities. So, this Privacy Rule does permit disclosures, under special circumstances, wherein individual authorization is not needed by public healthcare authorities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ regulations regarding the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are applicable to all health care providers. This important set of regulations control how health care information is collected by doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers and more importantly, it regulates how this information is shared with anyone including health care plans and third-party payors. Under these federal regulations, health care providers are prohibited from discussing a patient’s status or releasing a patient’s medical record to a spouse or other family members unless they obtain written consent from the patient to anyone, including those acting on his or her behalf, such as a health care agent; trustee or an attorney-in-fact.
NOTE: Failure for doctors or healthcare providers to comply with these privacy rules can result fines and criminal penalties. For a knowing violation of these privacy rules, the penalties can be as much as $50,000 in fines with imprisonment. If a provider makes the privacy violation with the intent to use this information for malicious harm and/or commercial gain, the penalty increases to a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.
With HIPAA in place, most doctors will not take a chance on giving your medical information to anyone without written consent!
How Does this HIPAA Rule Affect You and Your Family?
Doctors do not want to be fined or imprisoned and are being very strict about not giving health information to anyone without written content… meaning the HIPPA Release Form!
Under the HIPAA rules, a Doctor or other healthcare provider can not give a written certification of your incapacity to a person that you have chosen to be your attorney-in-fact (even with a signed power of attorney), unless you have previously authorized the release of medical information to the representative (filling out the HIPAA Release form). In most cases, a Power of Attorney to allow your representative to make financial decisions requires a doctor to give written certification of mental incapacity.
If you have not completed the HIPAA form and given a copy of it to your representative and suddenly are in a situation that makes you lose the capacity for consent or decision making… your attorney-in-fact will not be able to obtain certification of your incapacity from your doctors. If your representative can not get this certification from you doctor, he/she will be unable to assume responsibility to make financial decisions (pay your bills) of your estate.
It may mean your representative will be required to go court and file for the appointment of a Conservatorship (guardianship). Conservatorships are very time-consuming, court intrusive and expensive (See Conservatorships). To avoid possible court involvement in your estate and financial affairs upon your incapacity, you must sign an Advanced Healthcare Directive (or Health Care Power of Attorney) and a HIPPA Release Form created by an Estate Planning Attorney to specifically authorize your representative to be allowed to have access your medical records in accordance with HIPAA. The medical directive should clearly state the consent and authorization and should reference HIPAA.
Get Your HIPAA and Other Estate Planning Documents Created Before a Crisis or Emergency!
LA LAW Estate Planning Attorneys are proud to be a part of the complete solution to your family’s crisis, not just the lawyers that create the legal documents. We understand the issues surrounding the care of aging loved ones and what it takes legally to meet your needs and goals, while giving your family the peace of mind that your loved ones are getting the best care possible in a complex and confusing situation.
Please contact our office for a free initial consultation with Joseph McHugh the LA LAW Estate Planning, Elder Law Attorney. Or you may wish to call our office or check our web site for the date of our next free public class or workshop to learn more about elder law and the legal ways you can stay in control of your assets and your life!
After a thorough review of the best strategies for your estate plan and our fees for the scope of work, we will structure a comprehensive estate plan created specifically to protect your assets and allow you to stay in control of your life and your money.
Our Law Office is located in Southern California; however, we serve many clients throughout the state and love an occasional road trip to help all of our clients, their family and friends.
We are very proud of the many personal and professional referrals we receive from happy clients and colleagues. Please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Take advantage of a free phone consultation or appointment for a free 30 minute consultation to review your individual situation and determine if you would benefit from our experience and legal services.
Call us at: (818) 241-4238