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Ever need your spouse, partner or other caregiver to be able to access your medical records.

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CaregiverHealthcare

Summary:

If you think you’ll ever need your spouse, partner or other caregiver to be able to access your medical record, there’s no time like the present to give permission for that.

Article Body:

If you think you’ll ever need your spouse, partner or other caregiver to be able to access your medical record, there’s no time like the present to give permission for that.

There are a wide range of reasons why it might be smart to give someone you trust the authority to get information from your healthcare providers about your health status.

Perhaps you’re unavailable when the doctor’s office calls with a lab or biopsy result you’ve been waiting for.

Maybe one physician wants medical records from another doctor, and the quickest way to expedite that is for someone to hand-carry the documents from one office to another.

Or, if you should be hospitalized, you may want to be sure that someone you trust is authorized to get detailed briefings on your situation and progress.

Under the federal government’s HIPAA (pronounced “hip-a”) regulations, healthcare providers and institutions must follow strict rules to protect privacy. Sometimes the privacy rules make it more difficult for you to offer another person access to your information unless you’ve explicitly provided for that.

Be sure you submit a written authorization to all of your healthcare providers, healthcare facilities and your health plan stipulating that a named caregiver or other individuals have access to your healthcare information, spoken and written. Authorization needs to be comprehensive, giving the doctor, nurse and hospital permission to release all information about treatment and care to you and to whomever you designate. Such provision is required for both written and electronic records.

Regulations vary state by state. For more information on particular rules governing medical record access in your state, visit the Center on Medical Records Rights and Privacy at Georgetown University: http://hpi.georgetown.edu/privacy/records.html.

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