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Q&A: PHI for parents

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Q. Can you tell me whether the parent of a patient now over 18 years of age may receive information relating to a medical bill for services provided when the patient was still a minor?

A. Because the patient is now of legal age, you should obtain the patient’s written authorization to release this information to the parent. Alternatively, you can release the information directly to the patient, who can decide whether to share it with the parent.

 Editor’s note: This answer, provided by Mary Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, was published in the August 2012 edition of the HCPro, Inc. newsletter Briefings on HIPAA.

Categories : HIPAA Q&A


  1. Karen Gregory says:

    Since the parent had the legal authority to act on the behalf of the minor (except in certain situations identified by law) I do not understand why they would not still have the right to the records without written consent. I agree for any records created past the age of 18, but not prior since the now adult was not the person consenting to the care. I would love to know the reference for the answer provided. Always interested in answers to tricky questions!

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