Can your family access your protected health information?

Though you certainly hope that you will never end up facing an incapacitating medical scenario, you know that the possibility exists. Just like all other Pennsylvania residents and people all over the world, you are not immune to accidents or many serious illnesses. As a result, it is wise to prepare for an incapacitating event, even if you never need to put your preparations into effect.

Fortunately, you can plan for the possibility of incapacitation through your estate plan. One matter to address when working on your plan is to ensure that your family, or at least specific members of your family, have access to your protected health information.

Accessing your Protected Health Information

You have likely heard of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and how it protects your personal information from disclosure to unapproved parties. The Act specifically applies to protected health information, which is information that relates to your state of health, medical care received and other personal information that health care providers cannot share with outside parties. Medical professionals take HIPAA compliance seriously, and even if you find yourself in an incapacitated state, they cannot share that information with just anyone.

As a result, you may want to ensure that your family can access your PHI, which can include the following information:

  • Your current, future or past health information or conditions
  • Your payment information for past, current or future medical care
  • The type of care you received
  • Results from any tests
  • Personal information, such as Social Security number, telephone number, address and more

If your family does not have access to your PHI, they may be in the dark as to what is happening with your health and may not be able to make decisions regarding your treatment. As a result, they may need to go to court to obtain authorization to make decisions on your behalf while you remain incapacitated.

Planning ahead

Fortunately, you can plan ahead to avoid such a distressing and time-consuming situation by filling out a HIPAA release form that gives one or more family members (or other parties of your choosing) access to your PHI. This form essentially grants medical professionals the ability to share your information with those you deem appropriate. It can be included as part of your estate plan, and you could appoint someone to act as your power of attorney agent, who could step in immediately and make decisions on your behalf if needed.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy discloses the privacy practices for www.bononiandbononi.com. This privacy policy applies solely to information collected by this web site. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the web site, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  2. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing 
We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information 
You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

We also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.


Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time and all updates will be posted on this page.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at 412-832-2499