What You Should Know When Waiving Medical Confidentiality

  • Patient consent must always be obtained in advance whenever medical confidentiality is compromised (except in specific cases detailed in the law).
  • This consent is provided by the patient in the form of a Written Medical Confidentiality Waiver (ויתור על סודיות רפואית), also known as a “Vasar” (וס”ר).
  • A Vasar may be required for a variety of reasons such as certain medical procedures or enrollment in a new insurance plan.

Always read the waiver carefully and know that you can limit its scope, as standard waivers often mean that:

  • The signer waives his/her right to medical confidentiality without a time limit;
  • There is no nominal limit on who is permitted to view the information and therefore any employee of the organization that receives the information can view the medical file sent to the organization;
  • The party that receives the “Written Medical Confidentiality Waiver” can view all of the signer’s medical records whether they are relevant or not to the claim/issue at hand.

You should always limit the waiver’s scope in any and all of the following ways whenever possible:

  1. Limit the topic/purpose of the waiver – Is there need for a general confidentiality waiver which is a waiver including all medical issues, or is a limited waiver possible (for a specific medical topic and/or for specific purpose)?

  2. Limit the period in which the waiver will be effective – It is important that a confidentiality waiver will be time-limited (for example, until a specific date or until the conclusion of the task for which the medical confidentiality waiver is required).

  3. Give limited authorization for transfer of information to a specific individual or position holder – If it is possible to limit the authorization as such that the waiver will only be valid for a specific individual or position holder and not for an entire body, authority or company, because then the waiver is valid for everyone in that body (for example, regarding an insurance company, it is important to ensure that the confidentiality waiver will only be valid for doctors, lawyers or specific people/position holders that work for the insurance company).

 

For more information, check out our page on Patient Privacy, as well as some related pages we have translated as part of our collaboration with Kol-Zchut: