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originally posted by: TNMockingbird
a reply to: Iamthatbish
I am certainly NOT an expert but, my recent personal experience in MY state may be helpful.
My Mother was admitted to the hospital with pneumoinia. She spent one week and was transferred to a rehabilitation facility with expectations of returning home in about two or so weeks. One week later she was readmitted back into the hospital with severe dehydration, stage four renal failure, and uncontollable afib. Her kidney was never able to recover and she died. He cause of death on the death certificate is listed as pneumonia.
My Durable Power of Attorney "authority" became invalid when she died. From that point on it became the "Executor of the Will" who could then request medical records, etc. and "act" on behalf of the deceased.
In my personal situation that was also me but, quite possibly, the sister's authority ended when Duncan died.?
originally posted by: Xcalibur254
I don't see anything suspicious here. Even after a patient's death HIPAA is still enforced. Granted things do get a bit murky as to who does and doesn't have access to the medical records. My guess is with such a high profile case the hospital wants to make sure they're following the law as strictly as possible.
According to medical records initially provided to the family, Dr. Gary Weinstein noted two days before Duncan's death that "consents relatives" were Wureh and her son, Josephus Weeks.
Does HIPAA allow a health care provider to communicate with a patient’s family, friends, or other persons who are involved in the patient’s care?
Yes. In recognition of the integral role that family and friends play in a patient’s health care, the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows these routine – and often critical – communications between health care providers and these persons. Where a patient is present and has the capacity to make health care decisions, health care providers may communicate with a patient’s family members, friends, or other persons the patient has involved in his or her health care or payment for care, so long as the patient does not object. See 45 CFR 164.510(b). The provider may ask the patient’s permission to share relevant information with family members or others, may tell the patient he or she plans to discuss the information and give them an opportunity to agree or object, or may infer from the circumstances, using professional judgment, that the patient does not object. A common example of the latter would be situations in which a family member or friend is invited by the patient and present in the treatment room with the patient and the provider when a disclosure is made.
Where a patient is not present or is incapacitated, a health care provider may share the patient’s information with family, friends, or others involved in the patient’s care or payment for care, as long as the health care provider determines, based on professional judgment, that doing so is in the best interests of the patient. Note that, when someone other than a friend or family member is involved, the health care provider must be reasonably sure that the patient asked the person to be involved in his or her care or payment for care.