When a patient goes to a health facility for a procedure, they need to know their medical information won't be available to anyone who asks for it. Health information contains a record of past illnesses, medications a patient was or is taking, and insurance bills. Even your spouse or close family members aren't allowed to access your private medical information if they aren't listed on a Medical Records Release.
A Medical Records Release, also known as a HIPAA Authorization To Disclose Protected Health Information, is a legal document providing healthcare workers with the ability to disclose a patient's private medical information to other specified third-parties. In other words, civilians who aren't authorized can't access this confidential document.
Parties sign a Medical Records Release when they go to a new medical facility. Their medical information must remain private, and disclosing it to unauthorized individuals is considered a violation. In most cases, parties can't sue healthcare providers if they give their records to unauthorized persons. They can only lodge a written complaint, which will be further investigated.
It's important to note that a Medical Records Release isn't mandatory. Moreover, a patient can revoke an authorization at any moment.
Depending on your state, a Medial Records Release may also be known as:
HIPAA Authorization To Disclose Protected Health Information
Since signing a Medical Records Release isn't required by law, parties can choose whether they want to do it or not. However, this means none of the close family members or friends can be informed about their medical condition while undergoing a procedure. A party may be in surgery or incapacitated, so health specialists might have to talk to someone about their situation.
For that, the best option would be for every individual to get a Medical Records Release. By signing this document, they make sure a doctor updates an authorized individual about the state of their health.
Finally, a patient is legally allowed to revoke a Medical Records Release and grant access to other individuals' medical information.
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To create your document, please provide:
Personal Information: Your full name, address, phone number, and date of birth.
Representative Information: If a patient can't sign a form for themselves, please provide the full name, address, phone number, and date of birth of a representative.
Releasing Party: The full name of a party who will have access to a patient's personal medical information.
Releasing Information: State if the releasing party will be granted access to all medical sources or just the named ones.
The Extent of Authorization: You can choose to limit releasing your private medical information in the following ways:
Types of Protected Medical Information: A patient can decide which type of medical information they want to exclude.
Time Frame: A patient can decide on a period they want to authorize an individual to have access to their medical records.
Electronic Disclosure: A patient can allow the information to be shared electronically.
Expiration Date: A patient can choose a date when the authorization expires.
Releasing Party: A third-party who is granted access to a patient's sensitive medical information.
Authorization: A written permission by a patient allowing a medical specialist to disclose medical information to a third-party.
HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a law that will enable an individual to choose parties who will be granted access to their otherwise confidential medical information.
For a Medical Records Release to be legal, both the patient and the selected third-party must sign it. A witness doesn't have to be present. However, having one present can help prove a document is legal if anything should happen in the future. Furthermore, although notarizing the document isn't mandatory, doing so will protect all parties and ensure its effectiveness.
Each party signing a Medical Records Release should get a copy of it.
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