school wants access to all of dd\'s medical records

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2004 - 10:07am
meadow's picture
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Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

Hi again everyone,

I have yet another question. Our school district is requesting we sign a form allowing certain personnel access to her medical records. I am very concerned about this, and uncomfortable. I do not like so many people having access to such personal information, but want another opinion.

In an emergency situation my feeling is her medic alert bracelet should be sufficient as far as medical personnel are concerned. As far as for her 504 Plan, my doctor's letters should be sufficient. My doctor has already declined offering them test results as none of them are doctor's and feels actual numbers are of no value to them and does not want to be held liable should the information fall into the wrong hands.

Below is a copy of the form they want us to sign.

Thanks so much for any opinions!!!

Authorization Form under HIPAA

I, XXXXX or XXXXXXX, hereby authorize Dr. XXXXXX to use and/or disclose our daughter

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2004 - 1:56pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

meadow, I don't blame you for being uncomfortable. I wouldn't sign it either. If your child has a reaction, 911 should be called and they should be treated. It's not like the EMT's are going to say "We need to see their medical records first." And absolutely no way would I authorize the secretary and office aide to have access to them.
One of the papers they gave me had permission for them to have access to medical records and I just didn't sign it. I never said anything about it, just never signed it and they never brought it up again.
But no, I wouldn't sign this. If they give you a hard time you may need to get some legal advice.
I'm sorry you are having such a rough time. Please let us know what happens.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 12:31am
meadow's picture
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Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

momma2boys,
Thank you, I needed to hear that someone else refused to sign it. I feel in emergency situations her Medic Alert Bracelet is sufficient for emergency personnel.
I am worried that the school will deem us uncooperative by not signing it. They have asked us for it repeatedly and the special education director seems adamant on getting it.
Honestly, this has been mentally and emotionally taxing on me and my husband. Each letter, email and phone call leaves me a little more beaten down and upset than the last. I am starting to question if this is what I want for my child.
We just got ourselves and advocate because all the work we've done is getting us nowhere. We gave them a 504 Plan outline that all they had to do was revise and still two weeks before school I am not any closer than I was in January to having completed.
Through our advocate we contacted our state special education resource center and were informed that if a 504 plan is not in place by the start of school and we keep our daughter home then the school district will probably mark her truant and that opens up a whole other can of worms. If we offer to homeschool for that time they may hold us to it for the entire year. I feel like our hands are tied no matter which way we turn.
Sorry to vent!!! Thank you again for sharing with me. You've been such a great comfort to me through your posts.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 2:51am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Meadow, I'm a hop skip and jump from Joliet. A couple of years ago, I was asked to sign a similiar document.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 4:06am
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

meadow, what a mess. I really don't know what to tell you. What does your advocate say about signing this form? When does your school year start?
Is homeschooling an option for you? I know how you feel. At one point my nurse thought that they couldn't require the teachers to use the epi if needed. It would have to be volunteer. And my first thought was, "if these people won't volunteer to learn how to save my childs life, I don't want him going to school there."
I would look into it, but I don't think they can hold you to homeschooling the entire year once you start.
It really upsets me that there are no standards set for this situation and each one of us has to fight the fight to get our kids safely in school.
Feel free to vent, and if there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 5:40am
KatiesMom's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

there is no way I would sign it. If they have a specific question they can ask it, to you, in public. They don't needed anymore detailed information. When I asked my peditricain for documentation of Katie's allergy for her 504 meeting. She wrote a very short note saying that Katie was allergic to peanuts and needed to avoid all peanut/tree nut products. She said "that's all the school needs to know, if they don't like it they can talk to me". And it turned out that note was all that the school needed.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 6:33am
meadow's picture
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Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

I am so upset - angry, sad, frustrated. I'm not sure what to do about this.
I called the EMS Director because the Special Education Director told me he is the one requesting access to our daughter's medical records. He told me he had no need for her records and wasn't sure why I was told this THEN he proceeded to tell me the information faxed to him was plenty.
The Special Education Director took it upon herself to share my daughter medical condition, reactions - MEDICAL INFORMATION - without my knowledge or consent. Had I not called him, I would never have found this out. He also told me he forwarded the information to two more people (both medical professionals).
I asked the EMS Director to fax over the items " just to make sure it was accurate." I didn't want to let him in on any conflict for fear of him not forwarding the information. When I read the document, it was right out of the 504 Plan I drafted and detailed reactions, the fact that she carries EpiPens, how long she's had her allergies. It was not overly personal, but the point is I did not authorize or have knowledge of this.
I am waiting to hear back from my advocate. She is out of town today, so when she comes back tomorrow I will let you all know of the happenings.
I'm in shock!!!

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 7:21am
MQriley2's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2004 - 09:00

I know that in my state, sharing the information from a 504 plan without my consent is not allowed. In fact, they called me the other day and asked if they could show my 504 plan to another school, minus my son's name, to show how thorough it is and I agreed.
I can't believe they did that. I also don't know why they would need your medical records. They should only need a signed note from a doctor stating what her allergy is, how severe, how to treat it, and that she needs to carry her epi pens. Medical info is private and I wouldn't sign it. Do they do the same for those that come in for other disabilities..like say those with diabetes or those in a wheelchair? Probably not.
That makes me angry..sorry.
Renee

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 8:18am
Lindajo's picture
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Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

Hi Meadow,
I would not sign this form either. Your signature means that you give your approval to have her records given to anyone. I wouldn't do that. A doctor's note and the medic alert bracelet should be all they need. I agree with "momma2boys", an EMT is not going to check if there are medical records before treating her in an emergency.
In our state (MA), we have something called a "HIPPA Privacy Act". Every time I was asked to sign it I was told it was to protect the patient against their medical records falling into the wrong hands. You certainly don't need all those people reviewing her records.
I would say all that is required is a note from the doctor stating her allergies, what her reactions are and the protocol on how to treat them.
Good Luck! I know how frustrating it can be!

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 12:22pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

meadow, I don't blame you for being very upset. On the bright side, the EMS is prepared to handle a reaction. I would tell them you aren't signing the form, her medical records are private as is her 504 and if they violate your privacy again you will be contacting a lawyer.
I know you want to work with them so they don't think you are difficult, etc. but you do have some rights here. Maybe its time they know that they can't walk all over you.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 12:28pm
Rhonda RS's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi Meadow,
No. The SD does not need that kind of access to make a 504 designation. The law states that the 504 Team of "knowledgeable individuals" is supposed to meet to determine the designation. When you sign the emergency medical card, every child in the school has one, the SD has the right to contact whatever doctor(s) you list on the card in the event of an emergency. Therefore, the SD does have the appropriate access to your doctor in the event of an emergency.
Now, the "facilitating on-going communication" is what I would be most suspicious about. The SD can use this waiver to sidestep you and your husband. If the SD has a question, they can call your doctor directly. You may not even know the SD has called him. Then, you get into a "he said, she said" situation. Your doctor may say one thing, the school interprets as another, and you have no control. You must retain tight control over the discussions. Any questions the school has for your doctor, they should put in writing. Give the questions to you, and you should get the answers and relay them to the SD.
The school cannot make you sign a liability waver, and they cannot make you release your child's medical records. But I do think they need some information so they can move forward. School officials are accustomed looking at data, and this makes them feel comfortable.
We could get into lots ways to make the SD feel uncomfortable, and make them see they are discriminating against you and your child, (i.e: show me your school policy in writing that explains how you ask for this type of information from other parents of children with severe food allergy to determine a 504 designation - because if they are not asking for it from all parents, then they are treating you differently.)
But let's do something more productive. September is almost here.
You can provide the SD with the type of data (information) they feel they need to assist them in making a decision about giving the 504 designation without signing the HIPAA release form.
I respectfully disagree with your doctor with regard to providing the SD with the CAP RAST test results.
I would give the district a copy of the CAP RAST test results with "confidential" written across the top. Along with the results, I would include a letter from your doctor providing an interpretation of the lab result. (I.e: The child is a 100+ on a scale from 0-17: That means that she is .... and must have... ) Also have your doctor add that you and your husband are *"knowledgeable individuals."* This will give you a great deal of power in the meeting. You are their equals. I've outline the key language the doctor needs to use to get this designation. It works. I've bumped it to the top of school board page. It covers all the language the law requires and the SD is looking for you to provide.
Home schooling: Only you can determine what environment is safe for your child. I think that if you use the strategy above, you will strike a compromise and be able to move forward. If you do decide to home school, be sure to contact the state department of education, Home Schooling Department. Ask them what the state requirements are, and then you will have to call the district to determine the district requirements, which means talking with the superintendent most likely. You will need to complete paperwork. No - you do not need to keep your child home all year. Think about it, kids move from other towns, states and countries all the time in the middle of the school year. The SD does not tell those children they have to wait until next year (LOL) - how ridiculous. You can enroll your child at any time. You are only truant if you have enrolled your child and you do not send him/her without completing the appropriate paperwork and contacting your state department of education and your districts central office to inform them that you have changed your mind and that you are home schooling. The school can call the Department of Child and Family Services on you and your husband if you are enrolled and do not show up for school. So be aware of what you need to do should you take that route. Also, be sure to write a letter to the superintendent and document the reasons your child is not attending but that you plan to continue with the process. I do hope it does not come to this for you.
Take care,
Rhonda
[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited August 13, 2004).]

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