Can an executor sign a HIPPA agreement giving a deceased’s family member authorization to review medical records?

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Can an executor sign a HIPPA agreement giving a deceased’s family member authorization to review medical records?

I filed a complaint with CT DPH against my mother’s surgeon (have studied her medical records for years). I want to review records compiled to date. DPH says medical records are protected under HIPPA and me reviewing would “constitute” invasion of personal privacy, even though I am the complainant. Can my mother’s executor sign a HIPPA agreement giving me authorization to review her records? She passed away 4 months ago.

Asked on December 10, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  Yes, the executor of the person'a estate would be the one to sign the HIPPA release.  But understand that if there is a claim to be made for malpractice the Executor must generally bring that claim within the statutory time period so I would sit down with the executor and an attorney asap.  Good luck.


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