A time limit on a HIPAA-compliant medical release?

June 6, 2008

How long is a HIPAA-compliant, signed medical release valid?

How long is a HIPAA-compliant, signed medical release valid?

It depends. There's no statutory time period within which a release must expire. However, under HIPAA, an authorization to release medical information must include a cutoff date or event that relates to who's authorizing the release and why the information is being disclosed. For example, say a patient is contemplating a lawsuit against his physician. He could sign a HIPAA authorization that allows his attorney access to his medical records until "the end of any litigation" against that doctor.

Send your practice management questions to: PMQA Editor, Medical Economics, 123 Tice Blvd., Suite 300,Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677-7664, or send an e-mail to mepractice@advanstar.com (please include your regular postal address).