HIPPA-UGGH!

Yes, we all have a right to privacy in our lives. But the HIPPA regulations today have made it hard for caregivers of the elderly and disabled. My mother is the caregiver of my aunt. My aunt is 86 years old and has been admitted to a skilled nursing home facility. Additionally, my mother has a Power of Attorney to handle all of her affairs. I know that there are different variations of Power of Attorneys.

However, my aunt was admitted to the hospital not long ago. But this was not known to my mother. It was just so happened that my mother called the facility to inquire about my aunt’s welfare and was told my a staff member that they could not release any information. According to the staff member, they would need a signed Release of Information! I can see the why the staff member was reluctant to give this information over the phone, but they had the records there at there facility which only required a little work.

Nevertheless, my mother contacted the hospital in her town because that was the nearest hospital to the skilled nursing facility. The hospital staff would not give my mother any specific details, but they did let her know that my aunt was in the emerency room. Of course, when my mother went to the hospital the doctors and nurses were reluctant to give her any details. It is lucky that my mother carried the copies of the Power of Attorney her and my aunt had signed previously. HIPPA has made it almost impossible for caregivers to provide the care for their loved ones.  

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