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Q&A: PHI for parents

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 [1].