View Full Version : HIPPPA & college students - need advice

07-09-2015, 01:48 PM
With HIPPA in place, things are very different from when dh and I went to college. To those who have or have had student away at school recently, how have you handled this? Our concern is if something serious happens to our kid but the hospital/doctor won't speak to us. Should our college student carry a note of some sort designating who medical professionals can speak to?


P.S. And I just realized I can't even spell an acroynm correctly in the subject line!!!

07-09-2015, 05:43 PM

There are two issues you have here in place HIPPA and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). Don't you love those federal acronyms?

One, if there is an emergency contact listed at the school, if anything should happen to her then the school should be able to contact you and let you know that something happened. If she/you want something more than there is a more detailed form to fill out. The Student Affairs office should be able to answer this question in more detail.

For more than emergency contact, there is a more detailed process. Since HIPPA is a medical right-to-privacy, she should go to the local hospital and speak with a social worker there to fill out a medical Power of Attorney form. On the form she can provide very specific information on when to contact whom. She can designate who can make decisions for her, and specifically what the guidelines and limitations are to those decisions. (This can include DNR orders and the like.)

FERPA is the ability for the college to give you information about your daughter. What FERPA prevents is parents (or anyone else) checking up on students. Students have a right to privacy, so their grades and all other issues are between the student and the school. Again, as far as I know for emergency contact, the school can let you know if something is very wrong, like if she is in the hospital, without explicit permission beyond her listing you as the emergency contact. Again, student affairs should be able to help answer this question in more detail.

07-09-2015, 05:59 PM
I want to say you can just print a Medical Power of Attorney off the internet then have it notarized.

07-09-2015, 09:43 PM
Medical Power of Attorney is best because it's very clear legally that you have the right to act on your daughter's behalf when she's incapacitated.

But in a pinch....having a HIPAA release that authorizes you to see your kids information in your file cabinet would probably work.

Here's a form you could fax to the hospital or take with you:


Where is says healthcare provider, leave it blank and write in as needed

where is says "disclose health information to" Write in: My parents, John and Jane Inmom

You'll also be listed as the emergency contact at her college....which most hospitals will recognize as authorization (which isn't quite legal, but most will bend the rules). ( I understand your concern).

Cool article on just this concern: