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Advance Planning Critical to Making POA and Health Care Proxy Comply with Privacy Laws

December 6th, 2011

Many individuals are not aware that the privacy act they sign at a doctor’s office can have a big effect on their future health needs. Should a person become ill or incapacitated, and their spouse or loved one is not named as a patient’s representative, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not allow access to an individual’s medical records to unauthorized people. An experienced elder law attorney can help can individuals make sure they have the right legal documents created to prevent these issues from happening. Taking the time to create these documents early on is advised. An attorney will create a health care proxy with a HIPAA clause and a power of attorney (POA) document to establish who is the personal representative that can access medical records and make health care decisions. This is especially important if the POA is a “springing” POA that only gets used when an individual becomes incapacitated. An attorney will help make sure the right HIPAA release forms are created and disclosure of medical records will not be an issue in the years to come.

Littman Krooks LLP counsels individuals and families to plan for their health care wishes and financial matters as part of a comprehensive estate plan. Our New York City, White Plains and Fishkill estate planning attorneys and elder law attorneys are accomplished in asset preservation, trusts, and government benefits.

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This article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. If you need legal advice concerning this or any other topic please contact our offices to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at 914-684-2100 or 212-490-2020.