Lansing, MI asked in Health Care Law for Michigan

Q: I have an adult patient who has his mother as a HIPAA person on his forms.Do we HAVE to speak with her?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Hopefully your place of employment has general counsel or some other mechanism for you to obtain legal advice about these sort of matters. You should communicate through the proper channels to get your answer to protect yourself.

Perhaps an overly simplistic answer, given without benefit of seeing any documents, is that if the adult patient can communicate and is mentally capable, you are not obligated to discuss his treatment with anyone else. Now, if his mother has a proper HIPAA authorization, she may inquire about his medical condition, records, etc., but I don't believe you are obligated to run everything by her.

If the patient is incapacitated, then there needs to be a proper patient advocate designation made. Then, yes, you might need to run things by and take direction from that person.

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