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What are the information release requirements for therapists…

What are the information release...
What are the information release requirements for therapists upon death of client? I see that executors (likely parent, since no siblings or offspring) of client's will is able to request information from me. Does the released information need to serve any legal purpose? I do not wish to violate client's privacy, as he was clear that he didn't want family to know of any therapeutic content.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Relevant state: California
Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/27/2018
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 48,143
Experience: 30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

From HIPAA..

FAQ 7: Do Privacy Rights Survive Death?

Not in the way that they did before. Until the rule changed in 2013, a patient’s privacy rights survived death and lasted forever. The 2013 change means that privacy protections remain in place for fifty years after the date of death. However, if a State has a law that provides for additional privacy protection, that law remains in force. Further, the professional responsibilities of health care providers may require that patient records receive longer protection.

After a patient dies, that patient’s legally authorized executor or administrator, or a person who is otherwise legally authorized to act on the behalf of the deceased patient or patient’s estate, can exercise the deceased patient’s privacy rights.

It is important to know that disclosures for treatment do not require consent or authorization of the patient or the patient’s representative. (For more on authorizations, see FAQs 62-64 ). That means, for example, if information about the deceased patient is relevant to the care of the surviving spouse, the information can be disclosed by a health care provider to the health care provider for the surviving spouse.

Executor once they provide you with letters testamentary for your file can request and receive medical records just as the patient could have done so and you have no HIPAA or other liability for providing those.They assume the rights of the patient here a legal representative.

Reference

https://www.worldprivacyforum.org/2013/09/hipaaguide7/

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks

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Thanks again let me know if you have more.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Follow up question:
(1) What does it mean when a legal executor can "exercise the deceased patient’s privacy rights"? Does that mean this person can request and access records?
(2) Would it have been possible for patient to block specific people from being his legal executor? Or did he have to appoint someone else, specifically? Does legal executor always default to parents (in event of no spouse, children, other family)?
(3) Does CA have any exceptions to these HIPAA privacy laws for deceased?
(4) Are psychiatric records treated any differently?

(1) What does it mean when a legal executor can "exercise the deceased patient’s privacy rights"? Does that mean this person can request and access records?

Yes thats correct here.

(2) Would it have been possible for patient to block specific people from being his legal executor? Or did he have to appoint someone else, specifically? Does legal executor always default to parents (in event of no spouse, children, other family)?

Yes he appointed them in his will and court then has to authorize this and issues letters testamentary, ask for this document as verification.

(3) Does CA have any exceptions to these HIPAA privacy laws for deceased?

No the executor once duly appointed has access to their medical records and you have no liability assuming you have copy of letters testamentary and records request in writing for your files.

(4) Are psychiatric records treated any differently?

No they are treated the same here in California.

Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 48,143
Experience: 30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you, ***** *****! I've rated you 5/5.

Have a great day.

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