Your college student or high school senior – if they are over the age of 18 – needs a Health Care Proxy just as much, if not more, than you do.
The HIPPA law (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) set a national standard for health information privacy and security. Along the way, it created several problems, particularly for parents of older teens, including some frustrating situations.
Once a child turns 18, health care providers, including college health centers or the ER of a college town hospital, may not disclose your child’s medical status or discuss their condition with anyone besides the child. Being a parent or guardian does not qualify you to talk with a medical care provider.
If your student becomes ill or is in an accident and is unconscious, without a Health Care Proxy, the only person who will be making decisions on their behalf will be the treating physician. The doctors may not speak with you about care decisions, whether you are in the hospital or making frantic phone calls.
If your college student is coming home for spring break and you do not have a Health Care Proxy in place, call our office at 516-307-1236 to make an appointment to prepare this very important document.
We hope that you will never need it – but if you do, you will be glad that it is in place.