If you are in the hospital, you probably want certain family members and trusted friends to be able to get information about your condition or prognosis. You may need to plan ahead to ensure this happens.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations are designed to protect your health care privacy. The law protects your health care information so that unauthorized people cannot obtain it. Only a small number of people are authorized under HIPAA rules, so you must authorize in advance any individuals that you permit to obtain your medical records.
You can do this by signing a “HIPAA release form” specifying who can receive specific information. You can also limit the period of time during which the authorization will be in effect.
Surprisingly, there is no standard form for this purpose. Many health care providers have their own forms, so you may want to plan ahead and get a form from any doctors, hospitals, or clinics that will be involved in your care. Some providers offer printable forms on their websites.
You can also find a generic form here: http://goo.gl/v1pqbq
Finally, it is important to make sure your power of attorney and health care proxy documents include HIPAA authorizations.
You should contact an Elder Law Attorney to assist you in the preparation of these documents.