What is a HIPAA Authorization?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law prohibiting healthcare providers from disclosing your personal health information to third parties. Healthcare providers take this law very seriously. If a healthcare provider violates the privacy provisions of HIPAA, the law subjects them to civil and criminal penalties. A HIPAA Authorization allows a healthcare provider to disclose your personal health information to third parties in compliance with federal law.
Why You Need a HIPAA Authorization?
Any person with a healthcare power of attorney needs a HIPAA Authorization. See our Healthcare Power of Attorney article for more information on what a healthcare power of attorney does. Your agent under a healthcare power of attorney generally has access to your healthcare information just like you would. However, some healthcare providers may still refuse to disclose information to your agent fearing such a disclosure might violate the law. It is wise to have a separate HIPAA authorization for your agent under a healthcare power of attorney to prevent such a problem. You may want health care providers to share information with other family members or friends. Without a HIPAA authorization, HIPAA prohibits healthcare providers from disclosing your health information to those individuals.