View Full Version : How do I get past the HIPPA Law?

08-17-2008, 06:21 AM
My name is Mary and I have a son in Alger Max CF. He was just transferred there from Chippewa where he has been for the last year and a half. I believe he has bi-polar and has yet to be treated properly for this. He had been in the hospital and when released when given all his medications and sent to the half way house to take care of himself. He immediately overdosed and was found wandering the streets in the early morning hours by the police and arrested on a violation of probation because he missed his probation appt. I am so angry at the hospital in the way they released him and the events that lead to his eventual arrest. Because he is over 21 I don't know how to pursue getting authority to at least talk to the prison and find out what is going on with him. I believe he is not on any medication and is acting out and this is perpetuating the situation. Any suggestions?

08-17-2008, 07:36 AM
My husband talked to his classification officer and filled out a form giving the prison authorization to speak with me about all medical issues concerning him.

08-17-2008, 08:00 AM
You can get a medical release from him that he can get in the prison. Or you can have him sign a medical power of attorney. These are the only ways around the HIPPA laws. The medical release will be the fastest and easiest to start with, but he has to request it.

08-17-2008, 10:15 AM

The only way that they can legally give you any information regarding his healthcare, as the posters above have by way of HIM stating, verbally or in writing, that you are allowed to obtain his medical records and information. He has the right to suspend that privilege at any time.

Even if he isn't "in his right mind," so to speak, you still must obtain that permission from him. If it gets down to the point where he is deemed "incompetent" due to psychosis or drugs, it is up to the discretion of his healthcare team to release information to you----but they will HAVE to stay within the guidelines of HIPPA.

I know this is a tough situation to be in for famillies. The HIPPA laws are strict, and most healthcare workers are not willing to budge, even though it hurts you, due to malpractice (we get sued on a daily basis and have to pay HUGE malpractice insurance premiums). From my experience, the laws surrounding psychiatric patients are even STRICTER.

I will pray that the situation works itself out in your favour.

Do stay strong and be blessed

08-17-2008, 10:45 AM
Ask your son to request a "HIPAA waiver" and to put your name on it, so the medical staff can release information to you and stay in compliance with the HIPAA laws.

08-18-2008, 10:58 AM
Your son has to sign a form giving you authorization to know about any medical pertaining to him. Hippa is a privacy law and he can chose not to have anyone know his medical problems or conditions. Or he can chose a number of people to know its up to him. Next time you go to see your Doctor see what you have down. I know a number of people who complained every time they see someone they have to fill out that form. My suggestion is to see what form the prison has and have your son get one so you can help him. Yes this unforunate situation has cost him more time. check with your state regarding hippa law there should be something there for you to see.
Hope this helps. This law has been in effect for years it became stricter in 2003
Reason too much information was being given to wrong people example you are called re: your son about say a past due bill person gives personal maybe son dont want you to know and you angrily confront him well he wants to blame someone else for you knowing when in reality it was his right to privacy. caller dont know who you are you can say you are any one. See the point info could go to wrong hands. you dont want people knowing your business. And to bad you didnt know this sooner you could of saved him sooner. All you can do now is move forward

08-21-2008, 10:58 AM
You can get a shareware program (I believe it is called It's Legal) and you can draft your own power of attorney to send in and have him sign. Also, whatever he signs (what they have or what you send in) he should sign it with the notery (there should be at least one in the prison). I also filed mine with the county (there is a fee) but it is supposed to make it more accepted.

08-22-2008, 12:00 AM
Also, look into a power of attorney, but it will have to be notorized.

08-23-2008, 11:26 AM
A general power of attorney will not assist you with medical. You will need a durable power of attorney for medical decisions naming you as "health care proxy" but in a lot of states, it does not go into effect unless the person becomes incapacitated. Truly you need to start with a HIPAA waiver that he requests and puts down your name as someone who he wants to receive his medical information.

08-23-2008, 11:38 AM
I Work In A Hospital, I Am At Work Right Now:)
And Everyday I Have To Respect The Hippa Law.
And Some Time I Really Feel Bad , But At The Same Time The Law Is The Law.
And There Is No Way To Get Around It. Tell Him To Make You His Health Care Proxy. That's The Only Way....................... Good Luck

Davids wife
01-19-2009, 05:37 PM
Actually I have the POA and the HIPPA form signed by my DH, so I should be able to get his medical records right? NOPE they tell me I can only get them from his outside Doctor or an attorney. Well I contacted his former DR who told me NO he would not do it as he had not seen my DH for 4.5 years and then would not give them to me any way even with the signed forms! So now going through the attorney who also needs the HIPPA form signed that He has the power to request them. They do not want you to see the records so they make it very difficult for you to access them without a lot of time and expense to do so. Most folks give up and that is what the prisons are hoping and that YOU will go away!

01-19-2009, 07:10 PM
HIPPA was actually designed to keep patient privacy. There is a form your guy can sign to get the records to you, however, what I would suggest is that your guy ask for copies of his med records and then forward them to you. I hoonestly think that's gonna be the easiest way.


Myoichi Ama
01-20-2009, 09:30 AM
I was advised by a lawyer to get durable power or attoney, medical authorization (hippaa form) and have him fill in the special form they have at the prison. all of these things need to be properly signed by the inmate, and the poa needs a notary signature, and they need to be on file and in the correct file with the BOP. my attorney is karen russo, you can google her at the wrongful death institute.

Myoichi Ama
01-20-2009, 09:32 AM
the purpose of these docs is so that you can inquire about the inmates help and legal rights to do also helps when you need to pressure them to follow their own policies

Myoichi Ama
01-20-2009, 09:32 AM
sorry...i meant, the inmates health, not help

01-21-2009, 10:09 PM
How do you get a form when they are in a city jail?
2- Can you go go to a hospital get a copy of the HIPPA Form and take it to the jail, have them sign it?
3-Would it be legal?
4-Do you file it in the court system? Where they are locked up?
I no we can print a durable power of Attorney form from on line,
5- Do you then take the 2 have them sign and you keep copy and they keep copy? 6-Do you file it with the jail where they are at the time?
7--what happens when they leave and go to Federal?
8--Does it follow them?

01-22-2009, 07:44 PM
I'm not 100% sure, but I needed medical records from BOP after I got out for my doctor. I had to file a form with DC to obtain them and it was alot of red tape. When I was under BOP, I was able to write medical and they gave me my medical records. The first hundred pages for the inmate are free. I know that while in, I had to sign a form to get my records. That being said, I honestly think it's easier for the inmate to get their records and send them to someone on the outside then it is reversed. I know that the BOP has a HIPPA compliant form that they sent to my outside doctor for info. Also, a power of attorney form as well as a HIPPA release form can probably be sent to the inmate who would take it to their case manager who is usually a notary, have it stamped and the forms would go in the inmates central file at the facility. I'd ask for an extra copy and send it out to whoever you gave permission to get the records too in case they get misplaced. And another thing, I was able to sign a form so that my attorney could get copies of my med records from the facility also.


01-22-2009, 11:00 PM
Thanks joetnymedic, I am trying to get this arranged for my grandson. that a good thought-give a copy to attorney also. I am going to start somewhere.

02-07-2009, 07:12 PM
This is more good information to have pertaining to your love one. When my husband was in RCJ I was not notified when he had a medical emergency and had to be taken to the hospital and was in intensive care for 3 days. I was call -ed by a friend of his ,but the jail refused to tell me where he was or how he was. Enen though I have a Durable Power of Attorney . You have to have the Hippa Waiver with his immediate next of kin on it before they will release any information to you. Speaking from experience this is not a good situation to be in. Being prepared is always the best thing to do, cause if an inmate gets sick or hurt and you don't have this they WILL NOT tell you anything !! I was told that he did not belong to me anymore, that he Belonged to Them. Not a very good feeling !!:mad:

02-23-2009, 07:53 AM
I had a similar situation that came up as my loved one has severe cardiac issues. I was lucky as several years ago an attorney had him draw up a health care proxy, living will, and a Power of Attorney. Shortly after he was picked up he suffered severe chest pains and withdrawl symptoms after the facility kept him off his meds for over 5 days despite my attempts to make them aware and attempt to bring him his meds. I received a call from their mental health department wanting to know if my loved one used drugs and when I indicated no and the nature of his illiness they freaked out but the Nurse and Medical Director did not want to provide any info despite being given these documents. They kept claiming HIPAA preventing them from providing. It took my loved ones attorney contacting the Chief Sheriff threating legal action before I was able to get him his meds and any info.... be patient and know that short term these documents may not get you info but in the long run they should...... Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Good luck and keep pushing once, you have these documents. His Attorney indicated that these legal documents void the prisons excuse of HIPAA which is what they initially kept hiding behind. Hang in there and Good luck !!! Having both a Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney legally should address your issue

02-23-2009, 05:40 PM
:thnx:Thanks so much for sharing your situation with us. I have never heard of a Health Care Proxy. I have a Durable Power of Attorney with covers everything from medical to financial and other issues . With him signing the waiver on the Hippa Law I was assured that would be sufficient, but to make sure I will check that out with an attorney ! It never hurts to asks questions and to definitely be completely prepared, as I found out.

Marty's Wife
02-24-2009, 02:27 PM
I would suggest contacting the facility he is at and ask for the Health Information Manager. I went thru a similar situation with my husbands health. In Michigan Prisoners have to sign a Prisoner Health Release Form...they have to ask for is not something the facility automatically gives them. They also have to update the form every 6 months. If theyre is a health Info Manager where you husband is you can request that they take the for to him if he is unable to go to health care himself....Hope this helps...:)

02-25-2009, 05:30 AM
Thank you for the information . I am new to all this and you just feel like you're turning in circles. I definitely appreciate being pointed in the right direction . And yes being in different state the form might have a different name ,but I'm sure I can find out now that I know who to ask for. Thanks so much for you help ! I never want to go through that nightmare again.

08-09-2009, 06:53 AM
Sid Daugherty, a father from Sullivan County, Tennessee, took his 13 year-old son to the doctor this spring seeking assistance because of some reactions his son was having to his prescription medication. The doctor asked the father if he could perform some tests to see if the boy was also using illegal drugs. The dad agreed.
But, when the tests came back, the doctor refused to give the dad the results citing the right of the child to medical privacy.
As a result, the Tennessee legislature is scheduled to take up a bill attempting to ensure that parents always have the results of their children’s medical exams.
Most of us are surprised to learn that such a bill is deemed to be necessary. Don’t all parents have the right to their children’s medical information? After all, the doctor thought he had to get the dad’s permission to perform the tests; how in the world can it be suggested that the father didn’t have the right to see the results?
The answer is: our federal government has invaded parents rights through the HIPAA regulations—yes, those same regulations that waste millions of pieces of paper every year by requiring that doctors give us pages of tiny print legalese that most Americans have the good sense to simply ignore.

08-09-2009, 02:57 PM
FYI, the same government is telling us in the healthcare business that all medical records are going to have to be on computer in the very near future. This is the same government who had a hand in changing the Patriot Act just hours before it had to be voted on and refused the reps time over the weekend to review the changes before voting on it. By the way, through the Patriot Act, they can view your medical records if you are a person of suspision(?), as well as listen in on your cell phone conversation.

08-09-2009, 04:17 PM
Until my son was 18yrs, I was able to view and be told anything. Once the age of 18 hit, my son signed HIPAA waivers so they could talk to me.

08-09-2009, 04:34 PM
my son is at Augusta State Medical in Augusta Ga. I called over there and talked to someone in records dept.the sent me all his medical records but, it cost me $80.00 to get them

09-30-2009, 10:27 AM
As a nurse, HIPPA provides that they can't give you any medical info on him. However, when you have info that is pertinent to his health, they have to listen and note it. Before my husband signed papers for the medical staff to be able to give me info, he was taking new meds. Well, something wasn't right with the meds because of how he was reacting. So I was able to speak with the medical staff and inform them of what I was used to with him and that something with the med was not right with him. Even though they could not give me any info, they were able to take down what I was telling them and refer it to his doctor. When I saw him the next visit, he said they had made some changes to his meds because of what I told them. He said that he could tell the difference in the changes they made on the meds. I now am able to give and get info since he signed a form with TDCJ.