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Can an authorization be used together with other written instructions from the intended recipient of the information?


A transmittal or cover letter can be used to narrow or provide specifics about a request for protected health information as described in an Authorization, but it cannot expand the scope of the Authorization.

For example, if an individual has authorized the disclosure of "all medical records" to an insurance company, the insurance company could by cover letter narrow the request to the medical records for the last 12 months. The cover letter could also specify a particular employee or address for the "class of persons" designated in the Authorization to receive the information. By contrast, an insurance company could not by cover letter extend the expiration date of an Authorization, or expand the scope of information set forth in the Authorization.

Created 9/24/03


Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013