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Looking for something my Dad can sign now while he is still competent. My husband and I just had our living wills/trust done, not least to ensure that a supplemental needs trust was in place for my Dad (who has a progressive dementia), should anything happen to us. One of the docs that was prepared for us by our estate planner was a "HIPAA Authorization for Release of [my/my husband's] Protected Health Information." It is a general authorization/release form (signed and notarized) that allows each of us NOW to authorize a specific person/specific people to request/receive our protected medical information, with the specific intent of ensuring that these representatives can discuss our medical situations, obtain advice from others or facilitate decisions regarding our health care when we otherwise may not be able to do so.

I would very much like to find a similar form that would be "good" in Oregon, where my Dad lives (we live in California, and the form prepared by our estate planning attorney is full of references to California code), that I could get prepared, signed, and notarized while Dad is still competent to understand the purpose and consquences of signing such a form. Currently, we have to request (and he has to sign) a HIPAA form at every doctor's office he visits, and these are only "good" for a year -- the form my husband and I signed for our own estate planning purposes does not expire until two years after our death, and that's what I'm looking for where my Dad is concerned. I'm very concerned that given the progressive nature of his dementia, somewhere down the road, he will no longer have the capacity to sign such forms. I want him to be able to sign something now that I can give to doctors and hospitals down the road that will carry the same legal weight.

I DO have a durable power of attorney for him, but would like a specific HIPAA authorization release, since this is what doctor's offices and hospitals seem to require. But I've searched and searched the Web for "HIPAA authorization Oregon," "HIPAA authorization release form Oregon," and so on, and can turn up nothing like what I'm looking for.

Does anyone know where I can find such a form?

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Being in this exact situation myself right now, knowing how important it is, I feel it’s important to reiterate:

Specifically in regards to what PaulaK wants to do, needs to do:

In Oregon, if her father is able to speak for himself, only his verbal word or other means of communication should be needed to give medical personnel permission to give her information regarding her father’s health and health care records (a HIPAA form might be needed if a medical facility is weary of law suits). But, if her father cannot communicate his needs for any reason (medical personnel must deem him unable to communicate) she must be named health care power of attorney to be able to get access to his medical information and make decisions for him.

Why not just seek out and rely on a HIPAA form? Because in many cases a HIPAA form is signed while in the hospital or medical facility, when you arrive or during your stay (as she discovered, most doctor’s offices and medical facilities have their own form they want you to fill out for each visit), and there is a chance (when someone is aging or ill) that they won’t be conscious or of sound mind to do this when they get to the doctor’s office or hospital. And, she probably won’t need a HIPAA form if her father says, “You can tell my daughter anything about my health and care.” unless the medical facility is very fearful of lawsuits (in which case they should consider going elsewhere). But, if she is named as medical power of attorney, she will not need a HIPAA form and won’t have to deal with finding such a universal form or filling one out for each doctor visit or hospital stay.

Short and sweet – if her father can communicate, he can tell doctors they are allowed to talk to her about his health care (no HIPAA form needed), and if he is unable to communicate she MUST be named as health care power of attorney to find out information and do anything for him.

One last word of caution: When dementia or Alzheimer's in involved it is advisable that “in the event of an Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis” clause or similar wording be added to the health care power of attorney documents. The reason for this is someone with dementia may be “able to communicate” but should not be making their own health care decisions. The same for any mental illness. For specific information about medical or health care power of attorney, in Oregon, visit this website:

http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/insurance/shiba/topics/Pages/advancedirectives.aspx
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It is my understanding, after reading information provided by the Oregon POLST registry, that a POLST form is only for EMERGENCY CARE decisions. A POLST form is a good thing to have (both OR and WA have them), but it is more for the benefit of the patient during emergency situations - to make sure their health care wishes are carried out during an emergency when they cannot communicate (see link below).

I believe the question being asked is how can she obtain health care information regarding her father, so she can help make informed decisions for her father or with her father. If her father is able to make decisions on his own (as per medical authorities) a HIPAA form may be needed and some medical facilities require you fill out THEIR form. But in some cases kind medical staff will speak with you about your parent’s care if her father tells them verbally it’s okay to do so (and as long as that parent specifically said don’t give you information). That is MY experience with health care facilities in Oregon. But a HIPAA form may not needed if your loved one (the patient) can verbally tell staff they can talk to you. And if your loved one (her father) is unable to communicate then being named health care power of attorney is a must - it goes above and beyond HIPAA and is an important addition to a POLST form.

If a family member is in need of a way to discuss health care of a loved one (the patient) with a health care provider and make health care discussions for a loved one (the patient) the POLST form can help guide them as to what the loved one wants in an emergency, but it isn't the best way to gain the legal right to get health care information and have the legal right to make specific decisions. For that you need to be named a health care power of attorney or medical power of attorney.

http://www.orpolstregistry.org/oregon-polst-registry/about-opr/
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Try the Oregon state health department at Oregon.gov and look for the POLST form in a pdf format so you can print it and read the instructions carefully.
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I've been searching for the same exact thing (my dad lives in WA but most of his doctors and hospital visits are in OR). It may help to note that federal HIPAA law (that all states must follow) says that doctors/hospitals are allowed to release medical information regarding and related to the care of an individual if they feel it will benefit the patient. In other words, unless a patient specifically states otherwise (for example; "Don't tell my brother about my medical condition) a doctor can use his own judgment regarding release of information in the absence of a release form. Hospitals and medical facilities may of course have their own rules (usually guided by their lawyers to prevent law suits). Which is why you are often asked to sign a form for each doctor’s office or hospital you go to. I have found, due to unfortunate circumstances with my parent’s health, that Oregon medical professionals are very fair about this law, and will often give family information when it is truly needed. But, for legal reasons I suggest you read the following:

All medical personnel are legally obligated to give information to the person who is legally stated as that patient’s health care attorney (a.k.a. health care attorney-in-fact, the person named as Durable Health-Care Power-of-Attorney in a health care proxy or Advance Directive). Meaning, if you are legally appointed as your father's Health Care Power-of-Attorney in Oregon then technically a HIPAA release form is not needed once the advance directive is activated (once your father has been declared by medical authority as not being able to communicate his health care wishes). I advice you ask an attorney this question, but this is information I found on the subject specifically for Oregon:

Your Oregon Advance Directive is the Appointment of Health Care Representative. It lets you name someone to make decisions about your medical care — including decisions about life support — if you can no longer speak for yourself. The appointment of health care representative is especially useful because it appoints someone to speak for you any time you are unable to make your own medical decisions, not only at the end of life.

You can also appoint a second person as your alternate attorney-in-fact. The alternate will step in if the first person you name as an attorney-in-fact is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you.

Your appointment of health care representative goes into effect when your doctor determines that you are no longer able to make or communicate your health care decisions.
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