Even though your child left for college, you can still stay in touch. You can use your phone to call, text and even video chat to keep up-to-date. Your child’s distance from you doesn’t prevent you from continuing to be a parent.
However, if your child is in a car crash and goes to the hospital, emergency room workers may not be able to let you know what’s happening. Medical professionals cannot give you information on anyone age 18 or older.
Medical information is private between doctor and patient
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prevents any medical workers from releasing information on adults. Parents have a right to get information for their children under 18. But once the child becomes an adult, medical information becomes private between the patient and the doctor.
While you may still consider your child to be under your care, HIPAA requires doctors and emergency room staff to respect the privacy of adults. Even if you still have your child underneath your health insurance plan, they cannot release any information to you.
Without your child’s permission, doctors cannot discuss medical information
When your child is miles away from you at college, this lack of communication can be frustrating. If he or she does not respond to phone calls or texts, you may worry that something terrible happened. And if you find your child is in an accident and went to the hospital, you can’t consult with the doctors about the care he or she needs. Your child must give doctors permission to discuss medical information with you.
A HIPAA release can keep you in the loop
If you want to make sure you are in the know about your child’s health, you can fill out a HIPAA release. Your child can fill out the form to let doctors know that you have permission to discuss medical care. With this document, you can ensure that doctors can keep you informed.
College is a major step in your child’s life. While he or she may feel like an official adult, you are still the parent. With a simple release, you can stay up-to-date with your child’s medical care.