Posts Tagged ‘HIPAA release form’
Privacy is something, which holds immense value for a lot of people. But providers of health care have not properly understood the value of this privacy since they freely distribute personal medical information regarding patients. This is a problem which is not only faced by elderly people who are sick but also by children who are students and going to university. Though many parents feel that their 18-year old is just a child, in the eyes of the law, he or she is considered to be an adult and totally capable of making his or her own decision. The need for privacy has now taken the shape of a legal rule. California has its won laws, which govern the privacy of medical information of patients. But in all other parts of the country, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA“) has been legally enforced.
People who are involved in the field of healthcare do not realize that they need not discuss the medical condition of the patient even with his or her spouse. According to a recent mandate which has been issued by the department of Health and Human Services, the doctors and other officials in the hospital need not discuss the medical condition of the patient even with the family members when the patient is lying in an unconscious state. They should make use of their common sense and sense of discretion in order to do what is best for the patient. The exact words of the mandate state “If the patient is not present or is incapacitated, a health care provider may share the patient’s information with family, friends, or others as long as the health care provider determines, based on professional judgment, that it is in the best interest of the patient.”
A doctor or surgeon who has performed some kind of emergency operation on the patient can inform the family members about the health condition of the patient even when the patient is unconscious. A pharmacist has the authority to provide a prescription to the friend of the patient who has been given the authority by the patient to come and collect the prescription. The hospital bill and expenses of the patient can be discussed between the doctor and the child of the patient who is an adult. The bills can be charged to the account of the spouse of the patient. When a health care provider needs some clarification about the dosage of medication being provided to the patient, he can obtain the required information from the health care center where the previous doses of medication have been administered to the patient.
Every patient should ensure that he or she signs all forms which are related to HIPAA so that they can ensure that their medical information will only be provided to their family members in the event of an emergency. It is advisable to contact an attorney who will assist you in the preparation of a HIPAA release form. This will also make sure that the health care providers will provide the information which will be needed by family members in order to make a decision at the right time.