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Old 07-28-2010, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,450 posts, read 9,449,531 times
Reputation: 2084

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I am covered under a health plan by my employer. My spouse is also under my plan. I have Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. She is unable to respond verbally to questions. I constantly get asked, in emergency rooms and doctor's offices, about her prescriptions and her medical history. I usually have to give them a blank stare and a "I don't know" because I don't. I don't have access to all of those details. Everytime I call my insurance carrier, my prescription company, or Medicare, they all tell me that only SHE can request that information. Even doctors within the same hospital can't seem to share those details.

What do I have to do? How do I legally get access to all of her healthcare information? How do I make that information available to healthcare agencies so they don't have to try to ask her if I can't be present? I thought HIPAA was supposed to make accessing this information easier, not lock it down so tight that no one can.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:09 AM
 
9,462 posts, read 11,455,420 times
Reputation: 13853
If you have Health care proxy and POA, you are the one making decisions on her behalf. That's the whole point. You can't read the prescription bottles and transcribe it down on paper?
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,865 posts, read 57,913,059 times
Reputation: 19182
Takem your original POA and a copy for their records every time you go. They won't take your word for it. Good luck and I am sorry for your situation.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,187 posts, read 30,059,309 times
Reputation: 31321
Quote:
Originally Posted by superk View Post
I am covered under a health plan by my employer. My spouse is also under my plan. I have Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. She is unable to respond verbally to questions. I constantly get asked, in emergency rooms and doctor's offices, about her prescriptions and her medical history. I usually have to give them a blank stare and a "I don't know" because I don't. I don't have access to all of those details. Everytime I call my insurance carrier, my prescription company, or Medicare, they all tell me that only SHE can request that information. Even doctors within the same hospital can't seem to share those details.

What do I have to do? How do I legally get access to all of her healthcare information? How do I make that information available to healthcare agencies so they don't have to try to ask her if I can't be present? I thought HIPAA was supposed to make accessing this information easier, not lock it down so tight that no one can.
With your power of attorney, all you need to do is provide a copy to the office which has the information you are seeking. HIPAA's intent is to limit access to health care information to those who are entitled to it. Some health care offices are so afraid of the draconian fines associated with HIPPA that they go overboard. It is not intended to make it impossible for a doctor to talk to a family member, and it is not intended to keep doctors who are managing a patient's care from sharing information.

Provide the power of attorney to your wife's primary doctor and ask for a list of the conditions for which she is being treated, her past surgeries. allergies, and a list of her medications. There is no reason for them to invoke HIPAA. It does not apply.

If you always use the same hospital, you can also have the hospital keep the power of attorney on file.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,682,787 times
Reputation: 2805
I think she has to sign a paper (from each doctor) giving them permission to give you that information..

It has gotten so silly and complicated these days.. My son is a burn patient and once released from the hospital he has had many, many doctors appointments. About the silliest thing they ever pulled on his wife was she was not allowed to even stand BY him when he signed in at the doctors office! Then she was not allowed to go in the back with him because that violated his privacy! He told them "I am not going in without HER! She's going in with me!"

We're talking a BURN patient that laid in a hospital bed for 3 months with nothing but a wash cloth covering his privates in burn trauma with the door to the hallway open most of the time.. His wife had to sign for every procedure he had and never left his side.. NOW he needs privacy?
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,450 posts, read 9,449,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix lady View Post
You can't read the prescription bottles and transcribe it down on paper?
There are no bottles. All prescriptions, except one, are filled and supplied directly to a RN who assures that she's given the proper dosage at the proper times. How would I know if any of them have changed? I'll bet even the doctor doesn't know. It seems to me for the thousands of dollars I have to payout each month to cover the co-pays that I should darn-well be able to know what I'm paying for when I need to know it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,450 posts, read 9,449,531 times
Reputation: 2084
Like the correspondence she receives from Medicare. They were being sent to some other address. The Post Office started to re-route them to MY parent's address. They, in turn, were forwarding them to me. When I called the Social Security number to ask that they change the address, they wouldn't let me. They insist that only she can (only she can't really speak, and certainly can't write or use a computer), so there we are.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,187 posts, read 30,059,309 times
Reputation: 31321
Quote:
Originally Posted by superk View Post
There are no bottles. All prescriptions, except one, are filled and supplied directly to a RN who assures that she's given the proper dosage at the proper times. How would I know if any of them have changed? I'll bet even the doctor doesn't know. It seems to me for the thousands of dollars I have to payout each month to cover the co-pays that I should darn-well be able to know what I'm paying for when I need to know it.
Superk ~

Is your wife in a nursing home? If so, give them a copy of the power of attorney.

And the prescriptions cannot change without a doctor's authorization.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,187 posts, read 30,059,309 times
Reputation: 31321
Quote:
Originally Posted by superk View Post
Like the correspondence she receives from Medicare. They were being sent to some other address. The Post Office started to re-route them to MY parent's address. They, in turn, were forwarding them to me. When I called the Social Security number to ask that they change the address, they wouldn't let me. They insist that only she can (only she can't really speak, and certainly can't write or use a computer), so there we are.

You have her power of attorney. That allows you to deal with Medicare and Social Security on her behalf.

See here for Medicare. http://www.medicare.gov/MedicareOnli...s/CMS10106.pdf
Fill it out, sign it as her representative, and attach the power of attorney.

See here for Social Security and the IRS. Health | How Social Security, IRS handle durable powers of attorney | Seattle Times Newspaper


You probably had a lawyer help with the power of attorney. You may want to contact him or her to help you get all the ducks in a row so you do not have problems down the line, especially with taxes.

My condolences on your wife's illness. Please do not let the hassles you are encountering get you down. Your wife does not need for you to get sick, too.

If she is in a nursing home, the home probably has a social worker who can be of great assistance in helping you with Medicare and Social Security.

Note to all readers: if you do not have a durable power of attorney and a power of attorney for health care, do it now. You can save your loved ones much expense and heartache.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,450 posts, read 9,449,531 times
Reputation: 2084
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
Is your wife in a nursing home? If so, give them a copy of the power of attorney.
No, Assisted Living. Trying to move her to a Nursing Home, but that remains a whole other major issue (you can read my other topic on that mess //www.city-data.com/forum/north...eone-into.html).

I'll check those links for Social Security and Medicare.
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