Skeletons in the Family Medical Closet: Access of Personal Representatives to Interoperable Medical Records

St. Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy 4(2): 371-396, 2011

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 12

26 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2012 Last revised: 26 Mar 2013

Leslie P. Francis

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The growing use of interoperable electronic medical records poses difficult questions about access by personal representatives to medical records. HIPAA defers to state law about access by personal representatives. Although some states have mechanisms for patients to specify what parts of their medical records their personal representatives should be able to see, most do not. Moreover, interoperable records may not be designed to allow for more granular management of different types of information such as reproductive histories or mental health information. The result may be that representatives have access to information that patients would not want them to see -- and that is not relevant to decisions about their current health conditions. This article addresses allowing patients more control over their representatives' access to their medical records, an issue that has been largely forgotten in the enthusiasm about interoperable medical records.

Keywords: advance directives, privacy, confidentiality, personal representative, HIPAA, medical record

Suggested Citation

Francis, Leslie P., Skeletons in the Family Medical Closet: Access of Personal Representatives to Interoperable Medical Records (2011). St. Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy 4(2): 371-396, 2011; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2129953 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2129953

Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
25
Abstract Views
360