Consumer Engagement & Personal Health Information

POA

  • 1.  POA

    Posted 07-25-2018 00:18
    Hi, I am receiving conflicting information regarding Power of Attorneys. I have been told by my Risk Manager that we cannot release records or speak to the designated POA unless the patient is declared incapacitated. However my CEO is telling me we can release records and talk to the POA. Could someone please help me with this?

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    Cyli Resendiz
    Medical Records Supervisor
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  • 2.  RE: POA

    Posted 9 days ago
    Yeah, your Risk Manager is right. POA does not supersede patients’ confidentiality. Even if the patient is incapacitated, the next of kin may override the POA. Be very careful with PHI(protected health information).

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    Olasunkanmi Peleowo
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  • 3.  RE: POA

    Posted 9 days ago
    I'm no expert, but I have worked closely with an elder law attorney for the past several years and he has come out and met with our staff to educate us on local laws about Advance Directives so here's what I know.

    It depends on your state laws and the patient's POA document, which is why my first question to staff is 'have you read the document'?  I pull it up and review it as well.  There are so many different versions of HCPOA from various states and also patients create themselves; they can be vastly different in how and when the person's agent(s) is activated.

    Also, the terms incapacitated vs. lacking capacity and who determines each vary by state.  In NC, if the person uses the NC HCPOA template the form is invoked when the person's attending physician determines they lack capacity to make or communicate health care decisions. However, sometimes the document requires that 2 physicians determine. In NC a mid-level (NP or PA) cannot determine capacity. A court determines incapacity and normally that involves invoking guardianship of the person.

    Having a relationship with a local attorney versed in Estate Planning and Advance Directives is a huge asset. I'm fortunate that my org. feels the same.

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    Kristin Ferriter, RHIT, MHA
    Manager Risk and Compliance
    Carolina Meadows, Inc.
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