No. Nothing in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) changes the way in which an individual grants another person Health Care POA. The intent of the change was to complement, not interfere with the current practice of naming an agent to make important health care decisions for the person they are named to represent. HIPAA is about privacy. In a nutshell, it primarily governs when and how health care providers may disclose a patient’s health information. POA’s are formal, legal designations which give others the ability to exercise the rights of, or make treatment decisions related to an individual. The Privacy Rule provisions regarding personal representatives generally grant persons, who have authority to make health care decisions for an individual under the law, the ability to exercise the rights of that individual with respect to health information. An individual that has been granted a health care POA will also have the right to access the medical records of the individual related to such representation to the extent permitted by the HIPAA Privacy Rule at 45 CFR 164.524.

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