Do I need new Power of Attorney to comply w/ HIPAA even if I keep same agents?

Asked about 4 years ago - Chalfont, PA

New Powers of Attorney w/HIPAA waiver language
I have a will w/ Power of Attorney etc. set up. My Power of Attorney was signed prior to 2004. I was recently told to fill out new Health Care Powers of Attorney & Property Powers of Attorney containing provisions providing authorizations required by HIPAA. These two forms are very costly. Is this really necessary if I wish to keep the same people as successor agents and patient advocates?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jay G. Fischer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Pa made some significant changes to the Health Care Power of Attorney statute which became effective in January, 2007. The new law did not invalidate prior documents, but you will not get the full benefit of the new statute if you do not update your document. I do not know how you came to the conclusion that getting a new Health Care Power of Attorney and General Power of Attorney would be very costly. You need to sit down with an attorney that primarily does estate planning and estate administration and discuss the pros and cons of updating your existing documents. Generally this will include a review of your existing documents and a discussion about whether any change is needed.
    NOTE: Mr. Fischer is an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at 610-269-0900 Ext 2 or jgf@vfllaw.com. This answer was prepared for educational purposes only. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. Frequently the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reponse.
    This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.

  2. Jan Matthew Tamanini

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . I agree that your current health care power of attorney is likely still at least marginally adequate, and that getting a replacement POA should not be an expensive proposition. The best thing for you to do would be to contact your county bar association to get a referral for a low-cost (generally around $25) or free consultation where an attorney who handles estate matters could review you documents and let you know whether any changes would be advisable. In any event, your financial POA shouldn't be affected, since the change in the law was specifically related to health care POAs.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

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