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Some new enhancements to the privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) go into effect on Sept. 23, 2013. HIPAA prevents disclosure of your medical information without your written consent, and the following updates have been made to strengthen the privacy of medical records:

Confidentiality requirements expanded. The HIPAA confidentiality requirements of those who have access to your medical records will now be extended to cover “business associates” of medical providers and health plans.

Notification and permissions. You must be notified in advance and have the option to opt out of any marketing, fundraising or sales efforts directed to you by a care provider.

Electronic format for medical records. If your care provider keeps your medical records on file in an electronic format, they must provide you with a copy upon request.

Confidentiality. If you pay a provider in cash for a medical procedure, you have the right to forbid the provider from sharing information about the procedure with your health insurer.

It is important for you to have a HIPAA authorization as part of your advance medical directive; consult with your estate planning lawyer for more information.
The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0041.