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How to get nursing home to discuss Mom's health with me if I'm not POA?

My sister is Power of Attorney for my 97 year old Mother. Is there any legal addendum to the POA to allow the nursing home to discuss Mom's medical issues when I am there every week? My sister who is POA lives 3000 miles away and only visits for a couple hours once a month.
Status: Open    Aug 18, 2016 - 07:47 AM

Elder Law

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Aug 20, 2016 - 10:26 AM

The laws that legally define who can discuss or be involved in a person's care are covered in HIPPA. (you can search for more information about HIPPA) However nothing stops you from making arrangements to be involved in her care. Ask the facility what they require. Their requirements are completely separate from the POA. Is your mom is competent (communicative?) then she can add information to her medical records permission for you to learn everything about what is going on. Sometimes this is a signed statement and sometimes this is a verbal acknowledgement. Again, ask the facility what they need.

You say that your sister lives 3000 miles away and visits once a month? This speaks to your sister's concern for her mother. Traveling that far is a huge effort on her part, an effort that must involve air travel. However it is known that the condition of elders can change suddenly and sometimes decisions need to made quickly. Common sense would dictate that it would be good to have somebody who lives locally that can also be involved in her care.

This then begs the bigger questions of why wont the facility discuss your mother's care? Is it because your sister has just never provided the facility with a signature from the POA that allows you to be involved in mom's care? Then ask your sister to please provide one. Has your sister put a statement into her records instructing the facility to not discuss things with you? If this is so, then you need to have a serious talk to your sister. This situation may involve family dynamics more than leagal requirements.
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