Historically, health care providers have accepted Powers of Attorney without questioning their validity.
In the post-HIPAA world, however, one can expect a higher level of scrutiny. In fact, the HIPAA Privacy Rules can potentially create a conflict with respect to the traditional language of Powers of Attorney.
Thus, to be effective, Powers of Attorney should be drafted to comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rules.
Pa Powers of Attorney – HIPAA – Privacy
The HIPAA Privacy Rules protect all individually identifiable health information (defined as Protected Health Information or PHI) of an individual held or transmitted by covered entities (defined as health care providers who transmit any health information in electronic form).
Although the HIPAA Privacy Rules allow certain uses and disclosures of such information without the consent of the Individual or that Individual’s Personal Representative (defined as a person who has the present authority to make health care decisions for that Individual), the HIPAA Privacy Rules, with few exceptions, prohibit the disclosure of PHI unless the Individual or the Personal Representative authorizes it in writing.
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This article, which I published on the Martindale-Hubbel website in Spring of 2008 (with a few minor changes) is still relevant today. You can also review this article in the series of posts that have been – and will be – published in this blog.
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