Medical Confidentiality In Minors

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Confidentiality in the healthcare field is a patient’s vital and mandatory entitlement to the distribution of their medical records. This right is otherwise regarded as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which pronounces the protection of patients in several aspects such as healthcare accessibility, the prevention of healthcare fraud, etc. Due to the law’s commitment to protecting the consumer, it is absolutely essential for the medical profession to become fully aware of the HIPAA law and its policies. The ideology of confidentiality and the HIPAA law possess several issues, including the progression of the concept, confidentiality in minors, and the consequences of disregarding the legislation.
The Progression
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While the general rule of HIPAA in adolescence is the concept of parents or legal guardians possessing the right to access his or her child’s medical records, there are specific exceptions where minors can act as individuals. These anomalies include those who have received personal consent to treatment for an STD under the minor consent law, those who have been approved by the court to personal consent such as the process of abortion, and those who have family members who have given permission to the physician to disregard their right to access to their children’s medical records (English & Ford, 2004). The importance of minors and their consent to the distribution of their privacy to parents or legal guardians can be incredibly important to them and their overall wellbeing. According to several national surveys conducted, mainly sexually active adolescence is likely to receive the care necessary for their conditions under the circumstance that their parents and or legal guardian are not informed. For instance, under one survey discovered that “half of single, sexually active females younger than 18 years surveyed in family planning clinics in Wisconsin reported that they would stop using the clinics if parental notification for prescription contraceptives were mandatory” (English and Ford, 2004). Again, however, the minor consent law…show more content…
Failure to understand the law and the risks which the patients undergo may result in major consequences to not only the employee but the consumer as well. Depending on the individual or facility’s violation, the consequences may include a fine of up to $1.5 million and possible corrective action or imprisonment for the actions caused, as well as the leak of personal information for anyone to seek (Carol, n.d.). Due to the technological advancements, the HIPAA law policies have become stricter, thus creating a sort of fear within the healthcare field. For instance, the General Hospital Corp. and Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, Inc. paid approximately $1.0 million to the government due to violations of the HIPAA law. In this case, an employee working from home accidentally left medical information belonging to 192 patients on a public subway (Carol, n.d.). While major cases are accidental, some healthcare professions violate the law purposely. Cardiovascular surgeon Huping Zhou was sentenced to four months in prison “pleading guilty in January to four misdemeanor counts of accessing and reading the confidential medical records of his supervisors and high-profile celebrities…Zhou was also fined $2,000” (Dimick, 2010). Whether the situation is accidental or on purpose, the consequences of the violation are present. It is therefore up
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