HIPAA has proven to be a nightmare for more than a few families. Legally, you need to be named in a HIPAA authorization to gain access to your mother's data,
or even to talk to her doctor -- even if she has given you a durable power of attorney for healthcare. Technically, if you call a hospital and ask if it has admitted your parent, they're not allowed to confirm or deny that without consent in a HIPAA form.
When you sign a durable power of attorney for healthcare, make sure to sign a HIPAA supplement or release. Some doctors and facilities are very strict in enforcing this and check these forms diligently, while others do not. If you fill out a durable power of attorney for healthcare or a healthcare directive with an attorney's help, she'll advise you to sign aHIPAA release
. Again, this was designed to give patients, not the caregiver, control over their own healthcare and over who has access to their health records. Gently remind your mother that there may be times in the future when it will make sense to have another person go over test results or consult with a specialist, and you can probably persuade her that this is in her best interest, while satisfying your need to assist in her care.