Are caregivers covered by HIPPA or other privacy laws?

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For caregivers, are their activities for my mom protected by HIPPA or other privacy laws? my mother (passed away in June) had 2 occasional caregivers, independent contractors, and they did awesome work for my mom. Now, when going over last year or so of mom's transactions, in order to prepare an accounting for my 4 siblings, how much detail do I include about these caregivers? Isn't it an invasion of privacy for me to share information about the caregivers, how much they were paid per hour.....would it be sufficient for me to just give a total amount per month? And skip the details. Just have a "caregiving" category and not put down every day of the week they were there or what they did. It would take me forever to go over their time sheets for that much detail!

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Mallory, I'm so glad that my tip about the privacy clause helped you. This forum can be amazing. Sadly, when it would have benefited me most with parents I didn't know about it. But I'm glad to pay it forward for others. You sound like an amazing person. Cherish those memories. I'm almost 5 years past losing my Mom and it's like yesterday. Sadly, still getting phone calls time to time from creditors, etc that were settled but they didn't record things etc in their records or actually close the accounts and have since tacked on crazy charges. So hold onto those binders and keep a record of who you've sent what to when. A scanner capable of double-sided scanning may be worth looking into. I have one the size of a small toaster. A bit pricey but makes fast work of reducing paper files into searchable digital documents without taking space, and it is an acceptable expense as the executor. Take care. Thanks for sharing your memories too. It sounds like you did very good by her.
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Feeling good here, I made a deal with Thurs nite football, if Denver wins then I will too. ..of course it went to OT. Well I am not THAT superstitious. Anyhow it will be, what it will be...even if the superstar law office does find some moss on the side of some stone they overturn, NOTHING will ever take away the precious memories of.my mom, taking her to Mass, being there with her for every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and birthdays all over, and most of all, when she was in hospital and they discovered her deadly condition, I was right next to her holding her hand, and she was so scared, and begged me to not leave her side, ever. And I didn't. It was tough. But her love sustained me, and I sang hymns to her, and read her favorite Bible verses and had priest come in and was their with her anointing. All of this is just human side of things, trying to understand the Great Unknown. But I did my best, for my mom. ANYTHING that happens now, will be a speck of dust on the great golden glow of her immense memory within my heart. Her birthday is coming up...will be difficult, we will have a cake in her memory.
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Mallory, I hope you didn't think I was prying. I wasn't. Any questions I asked were to try to flush out the scope of the issues and answer appropriately.

I can't imagine what the sibs are attempting to accomplish either, unless it's just plain harassment.

I don't think they have any direct recourse to caregivers anyway. Maybe they're trying to figure out how much you spent on caregivers.

Anyway, you have a lot on your plate so try not to let any potential anxiety over what they might do hover over you like a storm cloud.
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GardenA, I totally appreciate your thoughts, and since I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with the amazing caregivers she had, or my care over mom or her affairs, I have to admit I'm completely baffled why they chose to spend the money to hire this lawyer? Perhaps there is something I don't know about. And that thought makes me nervous. But not nervous enough to just go blabbing off all sorts of private info...I am not that stupid!
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Mallory, a "slick" lawyer would also likely require a retainer from your sibs and charge on an hourly rate plus costs. They would have to pay out of pocket just to get the suit filed Any complaint would seek compensation and reimbursement from the estate, but that wouldn't happen unless a settlement occurred or the case was taken to trial after all mediation and solution efforts failed.

The other alternative is that a "slick" lawyer could harass you just to frighten and manipulate you into settling and offering something to the sibs. Since there's no insurance and no guaranteed representation, these tactics are low balling and nasty.

But you could always hire an attorney and countersue, throwing the ball back in their court and beat them at their own game.

I doubt if any reasonable attorney would even consider a case like this on a contingency basis though, as personal injury and products liability cases were handled when I worked in that practice area decades ago. Contingency cases have to have a good likelihood of liability, and are more lucrative when there's a deep pockets insurance company involved, not a "shallow pockets" estate or its Personal Representative.
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Oh, thank you, thank you, I read the agency contract info and it has a privacy clause. There is also no probate of this estate since everything was in the trust or beneficiaries, and under the dollar amount threshold for anything else. Unless the sibs file some type of court case against me, but I don't think there is anything they could charge me with committing. There's just nothing at all I have done, or left undone, that is wrong, I've been just so involved with taking care of her in any way I could. But I suppose some slick lawyer could invent something, who knows, and that's why they want the caregiver records.
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Just watch out that if you signed a contract with an agency or the caregivers directly there may be a privacy clause that you won't directly disclose personal information about their employees. Since probate is public record, be sure to consult the probate requirements and the estate attorney as your guide.
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It would be interesting though if they did try to contact the caregivers, who might consider getting PPOs against the sibs for harassment. The caregivers' employment agency might also consider similar action if the sibs pester them for information to which they're not entitled.
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Also, sibs have no right to personal information of the caregivers such as their addresses. That's absolutely way out of line.
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Mallory, it just occurred to me that you could just give the names of the caregiving agencies but not the extensive detail the sibs want. If they call the agencies, more than likely they won't get any data either, as agencies are going to protect their staff's privacy, regardless of HIPAA laws.

The VNA of Michigan gave its staff cell phones to use rather than their own cell phones, although some of them did. By using phones titled in the agency's name, it avoided the issue of individual staff's names and personal cell phones becoming available to patients.

If your concern is that sibs would contact the caregivers and ask prying questions about the situation with your mother, what care they gave, etc., they would most likely be prohibited by agency rules of privacy, notwithstanding HIPAA, from discussing any kind of personal issues that as these.

Legal personnel are under similar restrictions. We were advised never to discuss client issues outside of the firm, and sometimes there was even a "Chinese wall" created to protect a particular client's issues from discussion with anyone but the attorneys, paralegals and secretaries working on that particular case.
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