Extra-long twin sized sheets – check! New computer laptop – check!
But will you be able to get information from the campus infirmary or a local hospital if your child is admitted for any reason? Without the proper authorization signed by your child, the answer is “No”.
We have often heard the same story from parents. Their son gets into a car accident while away at college and is transported to a local hospital. When the parents call the hospital, they can’t get any information, even whether or not he is a patient there. Many miles, and sometimes states, away the parents are left with no idea what their child’s medical condition is and no way to find out.
This happens because once your child turns 18 the law considers them to be an adult. As an adult, they are subject to the medical privacy provisions of the HIPAA law. This means that any doctor, nurse, hospital or college health service is prohibited from disclosing to anyone their personal medical information, unless there is specific written authorization and a specific waiver of their privacy rights under HIPAA.
The solution? Have your child sign a Health Care Power of Attorney with a HIPAA medical privacy waiver. This written authorization allows you to speak with, and obtain information from, your child’s medical providers. Please contact our firm for more information on these forms or any other estate planning needs.