When HIPAA Inhibits

November 22nd, 2017
When HIPAA Inhibits

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was enacted to protect our personal rights to health information privacy. Only you or a designated recipient is authorized to obtain your health records. HIPAA enacts important privacy measures that matter, but it can also throw out roadblocks for court-appointed Guardians and designated Agents of Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA) or Healthcare Proxy.


HIPAA was enacted to specifically spell out confidentiality protections that were already a matter of common law. Although HIPAA includes means for accomplishing HIPAA-compliant records releases and explicitly authorizes Guardians and Agents of Healthcare POA and Proxy as recipients, you could still face significant obstacles in obtaining necessary records.

Records Releases

If you’ve been entrusted with the crucial job of helping someone in need navigate the medical system, HIPAA’s encumbrances may thwart your ongoing efforts. HIPAA is a necessarily bulky Act that comes with attendant foibles. The appropriate and necessary forms for allowing records releases aren’t always accurately updated and filed at the medical facilities in question, and serious delays can ensue. There are a variety of means and modes of obtaining records releases that allow you to help the person you’ve been entrusted to guide, and different modes require that different forms be filed and different strategies be employed. It’s complicated; a skilled attorney with experience in Guardianships and Agents of Healthcare Proxy and POA can help you navigate the often-tricky terrain.

Necessary Precautions

There are several proactive strategies that you can employ to maintain an efficient means of accessing the necessary medical records that will help you make informed decisions:

  • Keep your Guardianship, Healthcare POA, or Healthcare Proxy certificates on hand – always bring them with you to medical meetings, appointments, and visits.
  • Regularly update your certificates of Guardianship, POA, or Proxy.
  • If the person whom you proxy isn’t mentally incapacitated, ask the person to have a signed medical-release authorization put in his or her chart.

HIPAA is notoriously cumbersome, and if someone is relying upon you to guide his or her medical care, you need to maintain efficient access to that person’s medical records. An attorney with experience navigating HIPAA will help you ensure that you have your documentation in order – so that you can confidently get on with the important business of guardianship.

If You’ve Encountered HIPAA Hiccups, Call 732 238-8686 for Guidance Today

Though HIPAA represents important confidentiality protections, it can be a beast for Guardians and Agents with Healthcare POA or Proxy. A skilled HIPAA attorney will help you get your HIPAA records-release forms in order so that you can confidently guide your Guardian’s medical trajectory. If you have HIPAA questions, Bowne Barry & Barry Attorneys at Law has answers. Our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and skill to help you navigate HIPAA. For more information, please contact or call the law office of Bowne Barry & Barry at 732 238-8686 today.