Sending your offspring to college brings many lists you may need to check off. One thing I missed was a HIPAA (Health Privacy Authorization) release. We didn’t realize that parents are not entitled to know about their child’s medical information unless specifically approved by their child in writing.
This became a big problem when my son, who was on the varsity lacrosse team, went to dinner at a teammate’s house. The day after the dinner, the family emailed the school that their daughter (who had just arrived home from a developing country) had been diagnosed with an infectious disease needing a live vaccine.
The school doctor emailed us that the students had been summoned for the vaccine to the college health clinic. The problem was that my son was taking an immune-suppressing drug for an arthritis condition. If he received the vaccine he would have been very ill.
I called to talk with the doctor but was told I could not discuss this issue as my son was over 18 and had to give his permission (HIPAA law). That prompted me to immediately create, and have him sign, a document so that I could talk with the clinic about the situation and save him from a potential health care nightmare. My whole family now carries the HIPAA card in their wallet and I believe everyone should.
This HIPAA Wallet card is available free to any WASHAA Community Member. Community Membership is free. If you are interested in downloading the wallet card, join as a WASHAA Community Member for free and then download the card.