What If Your College-Aged Child Has A Medical Emergency: FERPA AND HIPAA

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP If you are a parent sending your child off to college this year, make sure you are prepared.  In the flurry of packing,  parents must not overlook obtaining advance consent from their children so they can have access to important health and educational information—or risk begin left out in an emergency. Once a person turns 18, the law presumes that they have the capacity to make their own medical, personal, and financial decisions, and they gain strong legal privacy rights, including under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which covers all medical information, as well as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which covers all educational records.  Under the privacy provisions of both laws, providers may disclose information only to the subject individual and those whom they legally designate—except in accordance with limited exceptions.  Both health care…

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