The Eighteenth Birthday Conversation

The other day a friend mentioned that she recently was at a doctor’s appointment with her 18-year-old daughter.  The doctor started the appointment with a request that the daughter sign a HIPAA release permitting her mother to remain in the room and to have access to her medical information.  Fortunately, this was a routine appointment, not an emergency, and my friend had just discussed the subject with her daughter, so no one was caught off-guard.

As parents we don’t quite believe that our children are growing up and at 18 are “adults”.  In all honesty, we know for certain that it may be a label without merit!  It’s important to remember that legally they are adults, though.  Permission is needed from the new adult in your home for you still act on their behalf.  Do not wait until an emergency situation exists to discover that a doctor will not discuss your child’s condition with you.

Below are useful links for Kansas and Missouri residents with additional information regarding Medical Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, and HIPAA releases.  For more information or comprehensive information on how to protect your new adult and their assets, see your estate-planning attorney.

https://www.mobar.org/publications/dpa/
http://www.ksbar.org/?living_wills

©February 24, 2014.  Kirsten Schroeder Larsen, P.A.