In the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Act) was enacted to broaden health care coverage, to simplify administrative processes, and to create a standard for the handling and distribution of patient health information. In this article, we will focus on the patient privacy aspect of HIPAA specifically the use of HIPAA release forms.
Physicians and any member of the health care team are bound by law to maintain patient privacy at all times. This responsibility is further strengthened with HIPAA that whenever a patient wants another person to view/access his/her health information, he/she needs to sign a HIPAA Release Form.
HIPAA Privacy Authorization Form
Standard HIPAA Release Form
HIPAA Medical Release Form
HIPAA Information Authorization Release Form
What Is HIPAA Release Form?
A HIPAA release form is an official legal document signed by a patient or any individual who wishes to show his/her personally-identifiable health information to another person. The Kennedy-Kassebaum Act requires such official documentation as part of the mechanism to standardize health care transactions. Companies, hospitals, and private individuals may be fined and prosecuted if they are found to be negligent and have risked their customers’ health data.
HIPAA Release Forms typically follow the same format and will only slightly vary on the degree of health information being disclosed. These forms will need to have the individual’s signature in order to be valid.
Where and When To Get a HIPAA Release Forms
HIPAA Release forms may be obtained from your doctor, hospital, employer, clinics, government health care agencies, and even your lawyer. These forms are also available for download online and more than five examples are even included in this article.
Personal health information are often required for some occupations and the scope of the information gathered by employers will vary. HIPAA Release forms may also be used by individuals who are suffering from terminal illnesses, those who are already crafting end of life directives, or wills. These forms allow individuals to plan for any eventuality that may concern their health.
HIPAA Authorization to Disclose Health Information Form
HIPAA Authorization Form
Authorization For Release of Protected Health Information
HIPAA Privacy Authorization Form Example
Guidelines When Filling Out HIPAA Release Forms
Make sure to read the contents of the form before signing. Even though HIPAA Release forms usually state the same things, some minor piece of information may be new or different. Just like filling out medical release forms, always read the form thoroughly to avoid misinterpretation of the form.
HIPAA Release Forms may have validity periods. A person releasing his/her health data to another person may allow that authorization to be effective for a set number of time. You may use this clause in your HIPAA Release Form if you do not want another person/company to have eternal access to your health information.
Remember that you do not have control of the authorized person’s actions regarding your health information. You should keep this in mind when filling out an HIPAA release form. An authorized person uses this authorization in making decision regarding your health treatment and/or insurance coverage. However, this release form does not prohibit the authorized person from disclosing your health information to other parties.
Carefully consider who you will delegate as an authorized person. In line with the previous tip, it may be better to designate a next of kin like spouse or children as an authorized person. This can help mitigate the inadvertent spread of your personal health information and keep it within your family circle since you will no longer have control over this information’s disclosure otherwise.
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