A Minor's Right to Confidentiality of Health Information

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A Minor’s Right to Confidentiality of Health Information
Davenport University

Healthcare Regulation HSAD 302
October 05, 2012

Table of Contents

A Minor’s Right to Confidentiality of Health Information
In August of 1996 congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) patients began to see an improvement in the access and consistency of the health insurance coverage. It was not until April 14, 2003 that the privacy portion was passed protection personal health information. Many states have individual laws that were already in place to protect the health information of patients. HIPAA was not intended to eliminate the state law but to cover that which was not addressed by state laws. The state law will prevail providing it is more stringent than the HIPAA policy. In general, the passing of the HIPAA gave patients additional information and greater access to personal medical information while protecting that same information from inappropriate disclosure. Some of the protected information that has raised controversial concerns is regarding a minor’s right to privacy and parental access. Minor’s Rights versus Parental Rights

HIPAA rules regulate the authorized individuals that legally can obtain a person’s private health information. HIPAA recognizes parents and guardians as “personal representatives,” which permits authorization and access as appropriate with the regulations. The guidelines provide that person that has legal authority over another adult or emancipated minor shall be considered the personal representative and afforded such authority as relevant to the law. The second part addresses unemancipated minors and parents or guardians, shall be regarded as personal representation and give the appropriate authority for decisions regarding a patients PHI (Mary Beth Kirven & Daniel J. Hall, 2003). There are exceptions as with any rules and those exceptions are as follows:

1. The minor consents to such health care service; no other consent to such health care service is required by law, regardless of whether the consent of another person has also been obtained; and the minor has not requested that such person be treated as the personal representative. 2. The minor may lawfully obtain such health care service without the consent of a parent, guardian or other person acting in loco parentis, and the minor, a court, or another person authorized by law consents to such health care service. 3. A parent, guardian, or other person acting in loco parentis assents to an agreement of confidentiality between a covered health care provider and the minor with respect to such health care service (Mary Beth Kirven & Daniel J. Hall, 2003). These exceptions provide for a minor, the ability to keep only specific health information as confidential from any individual which the minor chooses. In the state of Michigan, this information is protected only if for treatment of pregnancy, HIV or venereal disease and substance abuse (FindLaw, 2011). Benefits could be made by adding contraception to the protected information in the HIPAA policy as well in an effort to protect minors that reside in states that have no laws or public policy that address such issues. Teens have a right to conceal medical information only regarding pregnancy or infection of a sexually transmitted disease or actively addicted to drugs, which will then allow the privilege of privacy. This teaches teenagers that poor decision making will be rewarded with the opportunity to make more decisions. Promiscuous Adolescent Behavior

Since the early 1970’s adolescent sexual activity has been in the public eye, the actual rate of activity had not changed, it only become more obvious. The...
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