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What is a HIPAA document?

What is HIPAA?

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the federal government to protect individuals’ health information. HIPAA requires an individual to provide a health care provider written consent to allow the provider to disclose information to anyone other than the individual patient. This information includes both medical and medical billing records.

Although a valid Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, and Living Will may allow disclosure of medical information, some health care providers may still require a separate HIPAA consent form, known as a HIPAA Authorization to Disclose. This is a written document that is signed and dated by the individual, identifying the persons to which health care information may be disclosed.

Having access to health care information may be crucial in the event of incapacity to ensure informed decisions are made on an individual’s behalf, and an individual will not be able to consent to disclosure if they are incapacitated. Creating an individual HIPAA Authorization to Disclose is a recommended estate planning instrument in a comprehensive estate plan.

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