What is a HIPAA Waiver?
HIPAA, or the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996” is a Federal Law designed to protect private medical information. And that’s why every time you go to a Doctor, they probably have you sign some sort of waiver. (They want to be able to share some information with collections, insurance companies and other doctors.)
You should have your own HIPAA waiver as well.
Imagine a situation where you have planned ahead. You have Advance Directives, including a Health Care Power of Attorney . That Power of Attorney on its own does not entitle your Representative to have access to all of your medical information. Well, how can your Health Care Representative make decisions about your medical treatment without all of the information about your health status? That’s where a HIPAA waiver comes in.
A HIPAA waiver ensures that everyone who you feel needs to know about your medical conditions is legally entitled to know it.
Such a waiver protects your doctor from liability for violating HIPAA, and allows them to speak more freely with individuals that you designate on your HIPAA waiver.
Just like a Power of Attorney, a HIPAA waiver can limit the access that a particular person has to your health care information by restricting that access to particular information or particular purposes. For example, if you have a successor trustee for a Living Trust, or a Springing Power of Attorney (not really a thing in Connecticut after 2016), then it is important that the person who is supposed to take over things for you is able converse with a mental health professional about your mental state. In that case, you could limit the authorized disclosure to whatever is necessary to meet those needs.