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Do I Need Both a Designation of Health Care Surrogate and a HIPAA Release?

A Designation of Health Care Surrogate is the document that lets you name the person who will speak for you and make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

A HIPAA release is the document that lets you designate which people can have access to your health records and which people your health care providers can talk to about your medical conditions. HIPAA releases were created as a result of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).

In Florida, most of the time the Designation of Health Care Surrogate document includes a HIPAA release because your decision maker needs access to your medical records and your doctors in order to make informed decisions for you. Therefore, the question often arises as to whether you need both a Designation of Health Care Surrogate and a separate HIPAA release. The answer is, it depends.

Although your health care surrogate is the person who you want to make the actual medical decisions for you, are there other people who you want to have permission to speak with your health care providers? It is usually a good idea to only have one actual decision maker, but also potentially a good idea to have additional family members who are authorized to talk with your health care providers.

A HIPAA release can either be filled out with each of your health care providers (they all have HIPAA release paperwork as part of their normal patient forms packets) or you can put one HIPAA release in place and give a copy of the same HIPAA release to all your health care providers. Whichever choice you make, just remember that it is just as important to keep your HIPAA release up to date as it is to keep your estate planning documents up to date.

So, the answer to the question of do I need both a Designation of Health Care Surrogate and a HIPAA Release is not a one size fits all answer. It is an answer that depends upon your personal wishes, your family and what is going to work best in your personal situation.

  • Why Choose
    Our Firm?

    We limit the number of clients that we have at one time, allowing us to focus on your case.

    Personalized Representation
  • Know the
    Benefits

    Find out if you and your family can benefit from our elder law planning services!

    More Information
  • Dedicated & Experienced

    Our firm exclusively handles elder law concerns so your family can obtain peace of mind.

    Meet Your Attorney
  • Complimentary Consultation

    Let us help. Request your consultation today and we will be in touch.

    Contact Us Now

Contact Us

Edwards Elder Law, P.A.
St. Petersburg Elder Law Attorney
Located at: 2510 1st Ave. N.,
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
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Phone: (727) 755-5808
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.