Health Information Management

Q&A: Release of information when a child is in DHS custody

HIM-HIPAA Insider, August 10, 2010

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Q: Can a parent access his or her child’s PHI when the child is in the custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS)?

A: The answer to this question depends on whether the child is in temporary custody or court-ordered or permanent custody. Generally, the parent may access the child’s PHI in the case of temporary custody. Typically, however, releasing information is prohibited when the child is in court-ordered or permanent custody of the DHS.
 
Editor’s note: Glennda Gore, RHIA, vice president of risk management and quality services and chief compliance officer at McAlester (OK) Regional Health Center, answered this question in the August issue of Medical Records Briefing.



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