Does HIPAA prevent a school administrator or healthcare professional from sharing concerns about a student’s mental health with the student’s parents or law enforcement authorities?
FAQ guidance regarding weather HIPAA prevents professionals working in schools from sharing concerns about a student’s mental health with the parents or law enforcement.
When HIPAA, not FERPA applies to PHI in school settings, HIPAA allows disclosures to parents of a minor patient or to law enforcement in certain situations.
- Parents generally are presumed to be the personal representatives of their unemancipated minor child for HIPAA privacy purposes, such that covered entities may disclose the minor’s PHI to a parent.
- In addition, disclosures to prevent or lessen serious and imminent threats to the health or safety of the patient or others are permitted for notification to those who are able to lessen the threat, including law enforcement, parents or others, as relevant.