HIPPA and Parents of Minors

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    I'm a prenursing student and a mom. A friend of mine just was told that due to new HIPPA laws, she could not go into the physical exam room with her 12 year old son. Is this a new law? Or did the person at the Doctor's office stretch the truth.

    I know that for years, people at the Doctor's offices have tried to keep parents out, but the kid has always been allowed to say that they want their parent present.

    Does anyone have a link to the change to HIPPA that just must have occurred?

    This makes no sense to me, because, as an adult , I can choose to have my husband, boyfriend, child, girlfriend or mom in the exam room with me. Why would a child be forced to go alone?

    Please shed some light on this situation for me.
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  3. 35 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    It could be that they want to ask your child sensitive questions, such as sexual activity, domestic violence/abuse, depression, and other subjects that may not get a truthful answer if mom or dad is in the room. Not uncommon, but not sure if it's part of HIPAA or not. If the child is truly uncomfortable being in the room without a parent, the office should respect that.
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    Our docs request to speak to the child alone, esp once they start hitting the teen years. The parents can say they don't want to leave, but then the kid might hold back something. When my kids were 13 I started leaving them after the initial exam so our doc could talk to them about various things.
    RunnerRN2b2014 likes this.
  6. 0
    Thank you for the responses. I do understand that there are some reasons that may be valid for requesting a parent allow the medical worker to speak to the child alone. However, this mom was prevented from walking back to the exam tooAt all with her son and told this was due to California hippa laws. I really want to know if recent changes occurred to hippa or if this was just the doctors offices way of handling parents.
  7. 0
    The way I see it, if they need my consent to treat my kid, then would like to know what the treatment is going to be. I would also love to hear my son's answers to questions," sooooo what's going on with you?" "uhhhh nothing" LOLOLOLOL!! I would take a proactive approach and say that I would like to see the Dr first with my son to fill in the blanks on why he is at the Dr, then I will certainly leave the room during the exam, and then I would like to be called back to talk treatment. "sooo what did the doctor say" "Nothing. I am fine....." :spin:
  8. 0
    HIPAA is a federal law that gives each state the right to modify by legislation. California has a minor consent law, which basically covers such things as rape, abuse, pregnancy services, contraception, VD, HIV testing and abortion.

    Quote from vintagemother
    I know that for years, people at the Doctor's offices have tried to keep parents out, but the kid has always been allowed to say that they want their parent present.
    Actually, it appears the opposite is true, which I say as a result of working in pediatric settings for many years, and the fact that minor consent laws are relatively recent.

    There is a ton of information available on the web about this issue, here are a couple of sites:

    http://www.teenhealthlaw.org/fileadm...allet_card.pdf

    .http://www.hhs.gov/hipaafaq/personal/index.html
    Last edit by nursel56 on May 25, '12
  9. 2
    Quote from vintage mother
    thank you for the responses. i do understand that there are some reasons that may be valid for requesting a parent allow the medical worker to speak to the child alone. however, this mom was prevented from walking back to the exam too at all with her son and told this was due to california hipaa laws. i really want to know if recent changes occurred to hippa or if this was just the doctors offices way of handling parents.
    first it's hipaa not hippa.....as everyone knows here that drives me nuts. the health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 (hipaa; pub.l. 104-191, 110 stat. 1936, enacted august 21, 1996. http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa...ary/index.html

    while it varies state by state it is generally pretty close. nurse156 gace you excellent references.

    the child is a below the age of consent and a non emancipated minor. the parent has every right to the child's healthcare and to be present as the custodial adult whenever care is rendered to the child with exceptions to the child's individual safety from the parent and things like surgical procedures or requesting sexual health/std/pregnancy issues where their privacy is protected by law.

    i really dislike when medical professionals misuse the law to manipulate their patients....whether intentional or unintentional. they were using the hipaa regulations and misquoting them for their convenience instead of dealing with the parent by saying. your son is of the age we take the first few minuets alone with them and ask them things they may want to discuss without me in the room.....we will be right out to get you.
    GrnTea and nursel56 like this.
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    Thank you for The clarification on the spelling. This medical office posted a sign in their window (where you check in) saying: "due to hipaa , parents are not allowed in the exam room with children aged 12-17."When the mother pressed the issue, she was told there have been recent changes to California hipaa laws.I'm not familiar with hipaa, yet, A's I am a student.However, I am also a mother and my comment above about parents being sneakily/ subtly prevented from coming into the exam room comes from multiple personal experiences with both my son and my daughter over the years.Im not here to argue, it's just that practices like twisting a law to acheive a goal is underhanded and abusive, in my opinion, albeit as a protective and conservative mom.
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    It is different with every state, but if they are a minor, you still have to give consent to treat. If they want consent to treat, then you should be able to go back. In my state, they have to have a parent present for consent to treat. We have a twist though that if the minor is pregnant, the minor's mother still has to be present for consent to treat, but once the 14 year old gives birth, she can give consent for the child she just delivered, but still can NOT consent for herself.

    As a parent, I'd ask to see the HIPAA statement in writing, esp if I am signing for them to treat my child.
  12. 0
    Quote from vintagemother
    I'm not familiar with hipaa, yet, A's I am a student.However, I am also a mother and my comment above about parents being sneakily/ subtly prevented from coming into the exam room comes from multiple personal experiences with both my son and my daughter over the years.Im not here to argue, it's just that practices like twisting a law to acheive a goal is underhanded and abusive, in my opinion, albeit as a protective and conservative mom.
    All I can tell you about California is my experience as a parent here, too. I have never been asked to stay out of the room, and I don't believe the law requires it. Anyway, there is an abundance of information out there on my links and Esme's which will be more useful than our anecdotal experiences. Best wishes to you.


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