Do I need to update my power of attorney if it does not contain a HIPAA provision?

 Most people should have an attorney review their estate plan every few years to determine whether updates are needed. Some clients may require more frequent updates. It is important that during these reviews, all of the documents that make up the overall estate plan be assessed. This includes a durable power of attorney. The power of attorney names an agent, or an attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions on behalf of the person creating the document. There are several reasons why a power of attorney may need updating, including if the document is missing a crucial provision relating to the HIPAA Privacy Act.

4 Facts About HIPAA and Necessary Updates to a Power of Attorney

Why does a power of attorney need to be rewritten if it lacks reference to the HIPAA Privacy Act? The following is an overview:

  1. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted by Congress in 1996.
  2. The HIPAA Act requires that privacy rights and responsibilities be addressed in a power of attorney.
  3. In order to receive protected health information about a person, the power of attorney must include important HIPAA language authorizing the release of the information to the attorney-in-fact. Additionally, the ACT must be specifically referenced.
  4. If a power of attorney does not contain the necessary references to the Act, it should be revoked, and a new power of attorney should be signed.

To update the power of attorney with this missing information, the old power of attorney must first be revoked, and a new power of attorney should then be executed. We can help to ensure that this is handled properly. To learn more, contact us today at (714) 459-5481.