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LegalEagle1
LegalEagle1, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Practicing attorney licensed for over 25 years.
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I am a Physician Assistant in an ER. I am engaged to my fiance

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I am a Physician Assistant in an ER. I am engaged to my fiance whose mother is in the hospital. She's been there for 4 days and my fiance was never notified by his family that she was admitted. My fiance asks me to look at her records to find out why she is in the hospital because he is concerned. I look at the records and share the information with my fiance. Is this a HIPPA violation?

LegalEagle1 :

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.


I would like to assist you with your question today.

LegalEagle1 :

The HIPAA Privacy Rule at 45 CFR 164.510(b) specifically permits covered entities to share information that is directly relevant to the involvement of a spouse, family members, friends, or other persons identified by a patient, in the patient’s care or payment for health care.


 


http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2002-title45-vol1/xml/CFR-2002-title45-vol1-sec164-510.xml


 


If the patient is conscience you would need to obtain her consent. If she is not then any disclosure must be consistent with a prior expressed preference of the individual, if any, that is known to the covered health care provider.


 


If the disclosure falls into one of the categories listed in § 164.510 and the patient has not previously expressed a contrary preference regarding disclosure to her son, disclosure would be permitted.


 


 

LegalEagle1 :

You may also want to review your hospital's policy regarding your access to her records if she is not your patient.

Customer:

A bitter sister of my fiance is threatening to "take me down" if my fiance contests the will... Mom has passed away. I never talked to any one but him but he told them I had looked at the records. By the time we found out she was in the hospital, she had been intubated and on heavy doses of narcotics. We're dealing with an ex-con brother and a rabid sister of my fiance , so I am considering my actions to be a violation since my fiance was not her MPA.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

LegalEagle1 :

The MPA is the just one factor. The critical thing to know is if she signed a form authorizing disclosure to your fiancé.

Customer:

She is not my patient but 2 years ago she asked me to get results of tests she had done for her and I did. But alot has happened in past year with greedy family members and my license and job are not worth their toxicity. Thank you

LegalEagle1 :

Who is the executor of her estate?

LegalEagle1 :

what state is this in also?

Customer:

I don't believe she did. The oldest daughter took over executor about a year ago. Before that the two sisters were co-executors. We are in Arizona

Customer:

It's a family feud over the will at this point and I've told my fiance to just let it go. We don't need or want for anything, except my job of 30 years with no dings!!!

LegalEagle1 :

Arizona R.S. §12-2294(D) provides: Release of medical records and payment records to third parties


D. A health care provider may disclose a deceased patient's medical records or payment records or the information contained in medical records or payment records to the patient's health care decision maker at the time of the patient's death. A health care provider also may disclose a deceased patient's medical records or payment records or the information contained in medical records or payment records to the personal representative or administrator of the estate of a deceased patient, or if a personal representative or administrator has not been appointed, to the following persons in the following order of priority, unless the deceased patient during the deceased patient's lifetime or a person in a higher order of priority has notified the health care provider in writing that the deceased patient opposed the release of the medical records or payment records:

1. The deceased patient's spouse, unless the patient and the patient's spouse were legally separated at the time of the patient's death.
2. The acting trustee of a trust created by the deceased patient either alone or with the deceased patient's spouse if the trust was a revocable inter vivos trust during the deceased patient's lifetime and the deceased patient was a beneficiary of the trust during the deceased patient's lifetime.
3. An adult child of the deceased patient.
4. A parent of the deceased patient.
5. An adult brother or sister of the deceased patient.
6. A guardian or conservator of the deceased patient at the time of the patient's death.
Customer:

Trusts are different from wills?

LegalEagle1 :

The above statute controls disclosure in AZ after death of a patient. You should review the list and to see if a the time the disclosure was made if it was permitted.

LegalEagle1 :

Yes they are very different.

LegalEagle1 :

Some people incorrectly use them interchangeably.

LegalEagle1 :

If you want a definitive answer as to how this statute would be applied to your situation you should have consult with a lawyer in AZ and have him review the hospital policies as well this statute to see how they apply to your situation. That way you can discuss confidentially with him in detail all the relevant factors.

LegalEagle1 :

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer:

It likely was not permitted since the excon brother took her to the ER and did all the paperwork. "Mom" had been brainwashed for about a year by him and he seeks all of her monetary worth. I think it best for fiance to drop contesting the "will". They would not let us visit her as she lie dying at home after an argument between ex con and my fiance which has caused alot of pain but not worth the pain of losing my stellar career. Thank you for your time Legal Eagle.

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