anonymous42558 Asked January 2011

Can a rehab center refuse to give a son information on his mother without Power of Attorney?

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vstefans Apr 2011
The short answer is yes, you have to have a HIPAA release or Health Care POA or guardianship. Sometimes you have to show the paper to someone, and/or hand them a copy, and sometimes even then they are so afraid of HIPAA they may question if they are allowed to tell you anything. I was once denied a copy of my mom's current meds when I suspected an error and had to come back with the POA in hand and point out the exact ines in it that authorized me. A parent of a patient of mine told me she was denied access to records at another hospital without a release form when the child was a pre-teen and she was standing right there, with picture ID, in front of the medical records clerk, thinking it was somehow a HIPAA issue!! Other times they will give info by fax but not over the phone. A standard release of information form would give you permission to see medical records and might be the easiest thing to do - you just get the person to sign. I think the people not letting the guardain have informaiton are misinformed, unless the quardianship is limited and excludes health care information. The other thing you can freely do is accompany the person to medical visits because if they are there and aware you are there it is obviously OK to exchange information. Also, even if you have no other rights legally at all, you have the right to make rpeorts of abuse or neglect and rights to contact the ombudsman at a nursing home who could at least try to get complaints handled and maybe help with getting a POA back, though as notied that could be very difficult.
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LME Apr 2011
I think the problem is that you had been POA, but then removed from this by a controlling rrelative. Facilities don't seem to like people who have been removed as POA, even though it may have been for nothing you did. My relative is her own POA. But I have been informed of everything. Do you go see her once or twice every day? Do the two of you have the same doctor? That way you can bring her name up when you are there to see the doctor? Have you tried volunteering at the facility? That might help. It will be painful, but maybe you should see an attorney, one that specializes in elder law. This will alienate your brother from you. Perhaps he has been alienated from you as lives so far away. It is a difficult situation. If you feel as if the nursing home is mistreating her or any other patient, you can report the facility to the Home.
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krnhersh Apr 2011
it makes no sense- but the older i get, the more convinced i am, if somethig reall doesnt
make sense to me- something is off-
best to speak to an attorney who deals with elderly-
althought, its not like u r going to get a simple answer-
all of this medical/POA,guardianship,/legal issues are
sometimes just crazy.
keep us posted- id be curious to hear what happens-
in the meantime-u have your hands full-so much stress- and red tape, and so
i send u hugggggggggggggs-
u r stronger than u think....
take care-and dont forget to breath!!!!!
k
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I am the court appointed guardian of a 25 year old Mentally Retarded girl. This girl has recently had a baby and is involved with a local social services type agency that helps provide parenting skills, etc. This agency is refusing to talk to me or update me (the guardian) about the status of this girl and says they cannot talk to me without her signing a release - how can this be since I am her legal guardian? I've offered to provide this information to this agency and they said they need it to come from her!
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krnhersh Jan 2011
you have some very usefull info. My mother was talked into taking my name off of POA and my brother has been telling the agency
that is providing 24/7 care=not very good care for the most part-
not to give info,to me,he condons their disrespect and
it's only hurting our mom.she isnt getting the proper care because
the employees are not educated in how to handle dementia/apz. elderly,etc.of course they advertised as being so concerned and
having the best care etc. most of these places are franchaises-
he is paying with moms $..he also lives aout 5 hours away and visits about 1x a month for a few hours, i happen to live 10 blocks away,very close,same city,etc.
i took care of my mom for the past 10or so years-as far as edical issues-diabeties , many health prolems-he was not involved as i was-i knew the drs.took her to appts. i was her voice-the person
who did the scheduling, etc etc.
I have been trying to see what i can do to help mom get
out of this agency ,or atleast report what i have found to be
negligent and just plain ignorance in how they do things-
they get their $-they are verygood at that- i find it hard to
believe that since i no longer was
on that paper of POA,i had no right to be active and informed
anymore.but i allowed myself to believe what my i was being told.i am not inaposition to really help her-and she is always askng how can i do this to her? i have explained this to my mom.she took my name off that POA so i am no longer in the position to discuss,question change things,follow thru on what she
wants-and is still feels.-recognises people-her aphasia is so devastating-I dont know what to do when she grabs
my arm and says-how do i get out of this- this is horrrible-ihate them- i dont want to live anymore- she is not so advanced that she is mentally gone! she recognises me-her friends, which come from all around the world-europe,calif-etc. she has trouble with long conversations on the phone, but she is so unhappy ..the people around her dont seemto have a clue about the basics of caring for people with this kind of disease.=dementia patients read body language better that words.
and she feels these womens unsureness and jjust plain dislike
of their duties. im getting one of those camera/videos like
u would put in a childs room to see what goes on when u are not there. she is declining because she is so frustrated. i know that her disease is devistating,and that is separate from creating an atmosphere- at least while she is still at home-where she doesnt have to be afraid and angry.
the help she gets isnt very conducive to helping to improve
ones quality of life-who kows how much longer she will be here?why must she be going thru more mental pain and torture...
i am so frustrated too- i hate this disease and am begining to hate
conventional medicine too-btw,my dad was an orth.surg. -i worked with him the last 10 yrs he practiced. i have witnessed
the mindset of many drs that really dont get it--they can repeat
what they learn, but that is not the only way to deal with peoples health...im sorry for the rant-i feel like i dont make much sense lately- i keep trying -i cant stand to see her suffer-
i cant stand that my brother is so condescending and thinks he
is the only one to make decisions for mom. she wants me involved-but if she has dementia, cant it legally be said she
doesnt know what she wants, and therefore it makes no
difference if she wants me included.??
its so sick-sosad- what goes on in the health care industry is just so insane-as is so many other institutions these days-
sorry for going on, this wast going to be so long,but i have to thank you because u have helped me release some of my own
sorrow-so thank you!!!k
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Is his mother capable of relaying to the rehab center social work staff verbally or in writing that she wants him to have information? If yes, then that should be all that is necessary or they should have a form to fill out for her to sign to give permission for you to access her info. If she is incapacitated and unable to give consent then you might have to follow formal process if this facility is strictly adhering to privacy laws. In my experience, I have a health care desingation but usually when I accompany my family member to a hospital, doctor office, rahab admission, etc I'm the one helping her fill out the paperwork so I make sure that I put myself down on that paper dealing with privacy laws and access to medical records as giving full access to discuss information, even if there is no space on the HIPPA form to designate persons who get access. I also get my family member to sign access forms with the pharmacy she uses, Medicare, her health and drug providers, etc. Otherwise, when you need to call them, they will insist the member come to the phone to give permission. The only time a power of attorney has been demanded is from certain billing agecies but a talk to the supervisor advising them if they want to get the bill resolved, they better talk to me, ususally resolves the problem. In most cases, rehabs, nursing homes, etc want to talk to the relatives, if only to make sure the bill gets paid somehow. Also, these places have to hold meetings with family members on progress and placement so if you have made a presence there, they should acknowledge your roles as participants in her care. Here is a website on HIPPA laws that contains this question:
http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs8a-hipaa.htm
Since I am caring for my elderly parents, may I request their medical records?

Generally, permission to access another person's medical records must come from the patient. The patient may designate a friend or relative to receive information related to care and treatment. Permission should be given in writing and filed with the care provider or facility. If the patient is incapacitated, you or another person may be appointed legal guardian by a court. Then, the legal guardian decides who has access to the patient's medical records.
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