Signed Medical Authorization for College Students – A MUST

Why parents should have a Signed Medical Authorization form for their college students?

College Medical Authorization FormWith back to school season drawing to a close, parents should consider an often overlooked issue involving their adult children. If your child is an adult, you may not be able to get information regarding Health Care issues without the proper medical authorization. Once a child reaches the age of 18, he or she must consent to the release of any medical information to any other person; this includes parents. HIPPA laws are very restrictive in defining what information can be disclosed by medical providers.

In the event that your child is injured and unable to communicate, you may not be able to get access to him or her without the proper medical authorization. Consider a scenario in which your child sustains a head injury, or a spinal cord injury, or needs emergency surgery. You receive a telephone call from their roommate or friend telling you that your child has been taken to the local hospital. Upon arrival, you are told that the hospital is unable to disclose whether your child is there! Major decision regarding your child’s health will be made without your input. If your child attends school out of town, the impact can be even worse. Even if your child is able to communicate, he or she may not think to authorize the hospital or doctor to speak to you. Even if your child contracts something as common as mono, you would not be able to call the doctor and find out about the diagnosis and treatment. Your child may erroneously feel as though the treatment is unimportant and you may know differently; without an authorization, you may not be able to help.

Recap for the importance of having this document prior to your child leaving for college:

  • Access to all Documents and Medical Records

  • Knowledge of your child’s admittance to the hospital or medical center

Having just sent my oldest child away for his first year of college, I was shocked to discover that this issue was not raised in any of the orientation sessions or in any of the reams of paperwork that we received. The cost of preparing a HIPPA Authorization is minimal compared to the peace of mind of knowing that you will be able to assist your child should an unspeakable tragedy occur.

If your child is already at school it’s not too late, contact me for steps to putting this document in place electronically.

Posted on December 3, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Signed Medical Authorization for College Students – A MUST.

Comments are closed.