State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) presented Senate Bill 188 in the Adoption & Child Welfare Committee this week where it was passed out unanimously. This legislation will close loopholes in the law to ensure that parents of developmentally disabled children can have access to health records without needing to take time off work to get a court order.
“Currently, if a child is under the age of twelve, parents have access to these records. If they are over 18, they can be declared a disabled adult. Between those ages, they need the child’s permission; even when the parent was required to sign a consent for the child,” explained Rep. Davidsmeyer.
Supported by Family Forward and the Illinois State Medical Society, this proposed change was prompted by an incident where a parent encountered an obstacle while trying to obtain lab results of her fourteen-year-old son who has Down Syndrome and is unable to make his own medical decisions. Due to current law, and her son being over age twelve, the constituent had to hire an attorney to file a petition requesting access to her son’s medical records.
“I want to thank Senator McClure for bringing this concern to light and sponsoring this bill in the Senate. This change in the law will ensure that a parent or legal HIPPA representative can have access to these records while also ensuring that doctors can withhold this information when any type of abuse is suspected.” The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as HIPAA, is a series of regulatory standards that outline the lawful use and disclosure of protected health information. HIPAA compliance is regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services and enforced by the Office for Civil Rights.