Who are you -- a weekly HIPAA message

February 25, 2003

picture disc.HIPAA, the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996," provides federal protection of patient health information. You will be receiving weekly messages to help you understand the topic and how it impacts your job. Today's HIPAA message explains who can speak for the patient under HIPAA.

Question:
Who can speak for the patient under HIPAA?

Answer:
HIPAA defers to state law in this area. Under HIPAA, personal representatives have the same privacy rights as the patient. Personal representatives are legal guardians, power of attorneys for healthcare, parents of minor children and any other person authorized by law to act on behalf of the patient.

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If you're a manager, please ensure all of your employees are informed of the contents of these messages and how it applies to your work area. Some ways of sharing the information include discussions during staff meetings, printing and posting this message or asking your employees if they have any further questions.