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Does HIPAA require that a health care provider document a patient’s decision to allow the provider to share his or her health information with a family member, friend, or other person involved in the patient’s care or payment for care?

No.  HIPAA does not require that a health care provider document the patient’s agreement or lack of objection.  However, a health care provider is free to obtain or document the patient’s agreement, or lack of objection, in writing, if he or she prefers.  For example, a provider may choose to document a patient’s agreement to share information with a family member with a note in the patient’s medical file.


Created 9/16/08

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