Document disclosures and authorizations and know what your responsibility relates to. In short, if a minor can legally consent to processing without the consent of a parent or guardian, HIPAA recognizes their right to privacy. The most difficult questions in a private medical practice arise when it comes to third-party billing and reimbursement. If the office has regularly sent bills to the home to care for the minor, care must be taken to ensure that the information contained on the invoice does not inadvertently disclose confidential information to the parents. If the minor has health insurance and wants to use it to pay for care, there are additional risks that disclosure will occur through the insurance process when benefit statements are sent to the policyholder, usually a parent. The rule may minimize these risks if minors take the opportunity to request restrictions on disclosure or confidential communications. Ultimately, however, the effective implementation of confidential care of minors in a private medical practice depends on the cooperation of the minor, the doctor and a participating health insurance institution. In this section, you`ll find some examples of how three types of companies have implemented parental controls in their privacy policies and beyond. Nevertheless, mental health confidentiality laws for minors generally mirror those of physical medical treatment. That is, the law assumes that the parents or guardians of a minor patient are his treatment representative. As such, adults are those who consent to the minor`s treatment and have the right to consult the complete medical record.
Finally, school health centers may need to respond to faculty`s suggestions that their records be covered by FERPA instead of HIPAA. This will rarely be the case as long as school health centers or their sponsoring agencies meet the definition of the confidentiality rule as a “covered entity” and center staff take care to enter protected information only into the health center`s records and not into a student`s general educational records, where they would be available to parents under FERPA. Nevertheless, schools and school health centers need procedures to determine which records are subject to the requirements of which laws and what those requirements mean for the use of information with the school. Information about family planning or STD testing at a school health center will almost never be available at school and will only be accessible to parents under certain provisions of state law. Adolescents and the professionals who provide their health care have long expected that if a teenager is allowed to give consent to health care, the information related to it will generally be considered confidential. The wording of the statutes themselves sometimes supports this interpretation. Many minor consent laws contain explicit provisions on the disclosure of information to parents. Some do not allow disclosure without the permission of the minor. Others leave the disclosure decision to the discretion of the physician.
Disclose very few warrants.25 Some minor consent laws are silent on the issue of parental access to information. In these cases, HIPAA gives the provider or health plan discretion to decide whether a parent requesting access should have it, unless the state or other laws address parental access. The decision must be made by a licensed medical practitioner. In addition, personal representatives have the right to exercise other HIPAA privacy rights, such as written permission to disclose PII. The HIPAA Privacy Rule also gives a personal representative the general right to make medical decisions on behalf of the minor.