Under U.S. Law, everyone's medical information is private and protected, but it can be shared under certain conditions.
An older adult can give family and friends permission to access their medical information. This can make it easier for the older adult:
The law that spells out medical information privacy and access rules is called HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Under HIPAA, health professionals can share an older adult's medical information with someone when:
Older adults can tell health professionals not to share their medical information, or not to share it with certain people.
Different healthcare facilities might have different forms or procedures for accessing a patient's medical information under HIPAA. Facilities often have a social worker, patient representative or privacy officer who can explain their process.