Who Has Rights to a Deceased Patient’s Records?

[Editor’s note, July 2010: The Office for Civil Rights has proposed modifications to HIPAA that would ease the release of deceased patient records.] A son calls the HIM department and requests his deceased father’s medical records. Shortly afterward, the man’s wife requests the records, also. Then a man calls identifying himself as the executor of the estate. Who is authorized to access the records? Determining...

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