The Medical Release is the third document in the trinity of health care documents. The Medical Release is often referred to by our law firm as a HIPAA release. HIPAA stands for Health Information Portability and Accountability Act and this law requires you to sign a separate document so that your Health Care Agent or other loved ones may talk to your doctor and/or receive your private health information. It is a Federal Law that was passed in 1996 with an implementation date of 2003 over concern that medical information was being given to people who shouldn’t receive it. HIPAA outlines the information that is protected as follows:
-Patient’s Name, Address, Date of Birth, and Social Security Number
-Patient’s Physical Condition
-Patient’s Mental Health Condition
-Any care provided to the patient
-Information concerning payment that could help identify the patient
The Medical Release makes the Health Care Power of Attorney and Advanced Directive for a Natural Death more effective. It does not give authority to make decisions; it only gives permission to access information. The Health Care Agent you appoint under your HCPOA needs to be able to access information regarding the care you are receiving so they can make decisions on your behalf. You can also list others that you want the doctor to inform of your current condition and care you have received. This might include your spouse, children, siblings, parents, or friends.
The key is that all three of your Health Care Documents should be given to your Health Care providers. This allows your loved ones access to information as well as your appointed Health Care agent the ability make informed decisions. Come see us to get started on these important documents!