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Can a POA Prevent Other Family Members from Getting Medical Information on a Loved One?

  • November 5th, 2015
Q
My boyfriend's grandmother is in a nursing facility in Colorado. My boyfriend lives in North Carolina. Due to this, his sister has power of attorney (POA) for his grandmother’s health care, and she is preventing the family, including my boyfriend, from obtaining any medical or other information from the caregiving facility. The sister has told the employees not to give out information to anyone but herself. Does she have the legal right to do this or is her legal right narrowed to just making the medical decisions regarding her grandmother's needs? Is there anything that my boyfriend can do so that the caregivers can keep him informed about his grandmother’s condition, both physical and mental? 
A

From what you say, your boyfriend’s sister does have this right. Under health care privacy laws, health care providers may not provide information to anyone without a release from her or her agent under a health care durable power of attorney or proxy. The agent can also sign a release, but without going to court I’m not sure what you could do to force the sister to authorize the release of health care information. For more information on federal privacy laws, go here: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/use-this-form-to-avoid-loved-ones-being-denied-medical-information-about-you--15184.

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Last Modified: 11/05/2015

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