The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the privacy of health information for individuals over the age of 18. Hopefully your student will stay healthy, but in the event of an injury or hospitalization, health care providers will not be able to share information with you — your student will need to mediate the communication. This can be complicated and stressful.
By filling out a HIPAA release form, your student can grant permission for you (or another named person) to have access to medical records and information and communicate directly with doctors. Blank release forms are available at doctors’ offices, and some colleges have them on their websites in the health services section. Free online release templates are available — here is one example.
After completing and signing the form (it does not need to be notarized), give a copy to the health care provider on or near your student’s campus (the student health center and/or the local hospital — each requires a separate form). Your student should keep a copy and you can keep one on file at home as well.
Learn more about HIPAA at the official government website.
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