middle schools giving kids hippa act against there parents
Quick statement: I would like to thank my opponent and establishing civility beforehand to encourage intellectual debate and an amenable climate for the rest of the debate.
I would like to thank my opponent. I appreciate the debate topic. And I would like to preface the debate by saying any criticism that occurs in this debate is criticism waged at the argument and not my opponent personally. My opponent is a concerned parent and that in itself speaks of the good natured and commendable qualities exemplified by my opponent.
I promise not to engage in ad hominem attacks during the debate. In the event an attack takes place from my opponent (which I do not believe will occur because my opponent as I just mention is good person and a concerned parent), I will not address them or acknowledge their existence.
Finally, I wish Con the best. Your personal situation sounds frustrating and I hope your situation works out for the best. [Voters’ thanks for bearing with me but the more debate, the more I have realize the necessity of being as clear as possible, because a lengthy preamble at the start of the debate is preferable to an entire debate where criticism of an idea and is construed as a personal attack].
First, let me address a quick technical issue:
So let’s begin the debate: to be clear the acronym my opponent uses HIPPA as quoted in the following passage: “due to my OWN child signing the hippa [sic] form…” should be HIPAA, which stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which as my opponent notes does have privacy protections, something we will get to now.
So where my opponent is correct, a minor’s records can only be restricted by a school under ONE EXCEPTION:
“…may decide not to treat the parent as the minor’s personal representative if the provider believes that the minor has been or may be subject to violence, abuse, or neglect by the parent or the minor may be endangered by treating the parent as the personal representative; and the provider determines, in the exercise of professional judgment, that it is not in the best interests of the patient to treat the parent as the personal representative. See 45 CFR 164.502(g)(5).”
III. Overview of HIPAA
Congress enacted HIPAA in 1996 to, among other things, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system through the establishment of national standards and requirements for electronic health care transactions and to protect the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information. Collectively, these are known as HIPAA’s Administrative Simplification provisions, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a suite of rules, including a privacy rule, to implement these provisions.
[More important, the Department of Health and Human Services addresses the issues of parents in plain language on its website. Again, because this debate has 4 rounds I will simply take the information from the website because I want to make basic definitions and how the law works under its legitimately proscribed mandate]:
[ESSENTIAL, Voters should READ TO UNDERSTAND THE DEBATE]
Questions and Answers about HIPAA and Mental Health
Does HIPAA allow a health care provider to communicate with a patient’s family, friends, or other persons who are involved in the patient’s care?
Yes. In recognition of the integral role that family and friends play in a patient’s health care, the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows these routine – and often critical – communications between health care providers and these persons. Where a patient is present and has the capacity to make health care decisions, health care providers may communicate with a patient’s family members, friends, or other persons the patient has involved in his or her health care or payment for care, so long as the patient does not object. See 45 CFR 164.510(b). The provider may ask the patient’s permission to share relevant information with family members or others, may tell the patient he or she plans to discuss the information and give them an opportunity to agree or object, or may infer from the circumstances, using professional judgment, that the patient does not object. A common example of the latter would be situations in which a family member or friend is invited by the patient and present in the treatment room with the patient and the provider when a disclosure is made.
So I will summarize the reasons why Pro should get your vote:
First, HIPAA only prevents parent’s from obtaining information only in cases “if the provider believes that the minor has been or may be subject to violence, abuse, or neglect by the parent or the minor may be endangered by treating the parent as the personal representative; and the provider determines, in the exercise of professional judgment, that it is not in the best interests of the patient to treat the parent as the personal representative. See 45 CFR 164.502(g)(5).” [same footnote and quote from above].
Second, a student can give the parent the right to confidential information.
Third, the law itself is non-controversial, related exclusively to the health and well-being of individuals, and that’s all.
Fourth: HIPAA categorically does not as Con stated demonstrates that “schools addiction on brain washing students against there [sic] parents [sic] rights on knowing bout [sic] there [sic] child.”
Quick Summary of Argument: HIPAA is a benign piece of [health related, not education related] legislation. Moreover, a parents is not restricted to information when a student specifically asks them not to disclose information [again, information related to health, and really only includes insistences where a student tells a school counselor about having HPV or wanting to disclose a sexual issue like sexual protection, etc.] and when a representative of the school has reason to believe the parent has violated the law, as quote twice during the debate.
 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health. http://www.hhs.gov... (accessed March 24, 2015)
 Department of Health and Human Services. Joint Guidance on the Application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) And the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) To Student Health Records, 2008. http://www.hhs.gov... (accessed March 24, 2015).
 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Rela.ted to Mental Health. http://www.hhs.gov... (accessed March 24, 2015)
First, let me provide some clarification for issues raised in the last round. The legislation is effects the entity, therefore by remaining in the public school system consent is bestowed upon those specified in the statute. Consent on the student’s part is irrelevant, whatever documents the school provides don’t actually matter because whether the student signed it or did not sign it the law itself would apply. Schools handout forms all the time in the event of being held liable but the signature the student gives is for bookkeeping, it is not a binding legal contract between the state and the student, rather a record.
Second, I’m not sure what the issue is as far as education is concerned, since the law is a health statute and the reason for passing the law was undoubtedly to prevent tort claims against the school system, because not only are schools good targets for lawsuits and if a lawsuit is won there is a hefty payout by state. School districts often go bankrupt because of lawsuits, and taxpayers ultimately foot the bill, so not only is in the interest of school but of taxpayers who don’t want to be left on the hook for paying out a settlement.
Finally, I will pose a question to my opponent: can you provide a specific example of that has occurred, meaning a court case, pending legislation, or legal scholars that valid your position? The reason I ask is because it is unclear exactly what specific part in the actual bill is troubling or how hinders in any significant way the parent.
Below is further reading about the issue; it is similar but from other outside sources.
Minors Acting as Individuals
A minor is considered "the individual" who can exercise rights under the rule in one of three circumstances. The first situation—and the one that is likely to occur most often—is when the minor has the right to consent to health care and has consented, such as when a minor has consented to treatment of an STD under a state minor consent law. The second situation is when the minor may legally receive the care without parental consent, and the minor or another individual or a court has consented to the care, such as when a minor has requested and received court approval to have an abortion without parental consent or notification. The third situation is when a parent has assented to an agreement of confidentiality between the health care provider and the minor, which occurs most often when an adolescent is seen by a physician who knows the family. In each of these circumstances, the parent is not the personal representative of the minor and does not automatically have the right of access to health information specific to the situation, unless the minor requests that the parent act as the personal representative and have access.
Parents' Access to Information
A minor who is considered "the individual" may exercise most of the same rights as an adult under the regulation, with one important exception. Provisions that are specific to unemancipated minors determine whether a parent who is not the minor's personal representative under the rule may have access to the minor's protected health information. On this issue, the HIPAA privacy rule defers to "state or other applicable law."
If a state or other law explicitly requires information to be disclosed to a parent, the rule allows a health care provider to comply with that law and to disclose the information. If a state or other law explicitly permits, but does not require, information to be disclosed to a parent, the rule allows a provider to exercise discretion to disclose or not. If a state or other law prohibits disclosure of information or records to a parent without the minor's consent, the rule does not allow a provider to disclose without the minor's permission. If state or other law is silent on the question of parents' access, a provider or health plan has discretion to determine whether to grant access to a parent who requests it. Although some comments on the proposed rule suggested that this decision should be made by the treating provider, the rule does not require this. In most situations of direct clinical care, it would be desirable for the treating provider to make determinations about access to a minor's protected health information. Where this is not feasible or appropriate, such as when health plans receive requests for records, the rule stipulates that at a minimum the determination must be made by a licensed health care professional exercising professional judgment.
Special Privacy Protections
Two important provisions of the HIPAA privacy rule allow minors who are treated as "individuals" to request special privacy protections. First, these minors may request that health care providers and health plans communicate with them in a confidential manner: by e-mail rather than by phone, or at a place other than their home, for example.16 Also, they may request limitations on disclosure of information for treatment, payment or health care operations that could ordinarily occur without their authorization,17 although the extent to which providers and plans are required to honor such requests varies by the type of request and to whom it is made. These requests may be particularly important when a minor believes that disclosure of information would result in specific danger.18
The privacy rule allows a health care provider or health plan not to treat a parent as a minor's personal representative, given a reasonable belief that the parent has subjected or may subject the minor to domestic violence, abuse or neglect, or that treating the parent as the personal representative could endanger the minor. The provider or plan must also decide that it is not in the minor's best interest to treat the parent as the personal representative.19 In addition, the rule allows a licensed health care professional to deny a parent who is a personal representative access to a minor's protected health information if, in the professional's judgment, access would likely cause substantial harm to the minor or someone else.20 Finally, it allows a provider or health plan to disclose a minor's protected health information in order to prevent or diminish an imminent threat to the health and safety of a person or the public.21 These provisions apply to adults as well as minors but have different implications for minors, specifically with respect to disclosure of information to parents.
Number two your speaking more of a situation you know nothing about being the fact that you speak more for teachers rather than posing the truth as a parent and not that of a relative of a teacher or school staff. There never has to be a law suit for 1 and again for 2 who in the mental confusion would allow their child to be brain washed by the ones we pay to teach?
In this round, I would like to integrate Pro’s arguments while simultaneously addressing statement offered by Con.
Response to Con’s statement:
“…all your talking about is nothing but what your taking from a book your reading.”
First, footnoted and extensively addressed in round one, Pro supports HIPAA [meaning the legislation passed and its legitimate implementation for the Department of Health & Human Services]. Yes, it is true last round I add supplementary text to contextualize what the law is, how it works, and the deference granted to DHHS under its legal mandate. However, in the first round I used provided portions of the law as it is written and understood. The HIPAA privacy section is straightforward, especially and the privacy rule is a very short. While I’ve shied away from quoting the sections of the bill, but to prevent further confusion it seems incumbent to do so.
First, Pro would like to iterate HPAA is as the unbridged title to the law explains is:
“An Act To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets, to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery, to promote the use of medical savings accounts, to improve access to long-term care services and coverage, to simplify the administration of health insurance, and for other purposes.”
Second, while the law itself is a dense document, the sections related to schools are incredibly brief and the Privacy Rule is very simple to understand, especially minors. By opening the PDF text provided in the footnote, search (by using FIND on Chrome, search Sec 1171) it explains schools are including as “cover entities” and the privacy rule [below I provide the “Code of Federal Regulations applying to the Privacy Rule”]. As the statute makes clear, parents are not able to access information only if school administrators. It clearly states that Private Health Information (PHI) is not disclosed to minors in the following circumstances, when a school administrator suspects neglect, abuse, or other violations perpetuated by parents.
Finally, to be clear, the Pro and Con are debating a policy based issue about the whether HIPAA provides an unreasonable confidentially to schools and minors under the Privacy Rule.
Pro’s position is HIPAA is a narrowly tailored law, especially the federal regulatory codes dealing with minors. Schools must disclose all information to parents of minors unless extraordinary circumstances related to sexual abuse or physical abuse is suspected by the school. And as Con as mentioned this debate is focusing on minors, meaning individuals under the age of 18.
Response to Con’s quote:
“…your speaking more of a situation you know nothing about being the fact that you speak more for teachers rather than posing the truth as a parent and not that of a relative of a teacher or school staff.”
To be clear this is a policy debate. Personal interactions, subjective reactions, and unverified claims about the school your child attends is not a debate because there is no way to verify, substantiate, or make a reasonable counterargument for any claims unless Con can provide evidence, facts accessible that are accessible, or known controversies adjudicated by courts or relevant legal arbitrators.
Finally, I believe that I have made a significant effort to glean the facts about the law and the privacy statute, as to whether the school your child attends is violating the relevant sections cited, that is not a debate but unverified personal conjecture, which is not evidence.
“…who in the mental confusion would allow their child to be brain washed by the ones we pay to teach?”
Pro would like a clarification:
What is meant by “brain washed” [sic]? Can you provide an example of what you mean, the more precise and specific the better. It is unclear how this factors into a policy debate about a legal statute.
Finally, if there are violations a parent can simply contact the Department of Health and Human Services, which has the ability to resolve any legal aberrations or violations of the law.
I hope this round has made clear HIPAA is a law. I have footnoted the relevant sections of the law and the regulatory codes followed under federal law. If I have somehow provided inadequate evidence, failed to satisfy the warrants posed by Con, or been unclear please state those concerns in the next round so that I can address it better.
Thanks for the debate. And thanks for you quick response time, much appreciated. Wish the best to you.
To conclude, first address Con’s point
Okay, Con did not ask for clarification of my arguments, which were accurately cited as well as accurately summarized the law [with facts and evidence]. Con fixated on a problem with a local school system and concentrated on signing forms. Con could have perhaps provided say; information related to this specific school system, provided links to forms and policies in question but did not.
To Con’s question: “Can you tell me how many teachers / superintendents had their kids sign this form[?]”
No, given that Con did not provide a way to verify the form exists, so it be impossible to answer the question, not to mention whether the concerns are true or fabricated.
Finally, rebuttal to Con: FORMS DO NOT EFFECT COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL LAW
If the teachers and superintendents children attend the same school as yours they would have to comply regardless, it is a federal law.
The forms as I mentioned are like other forms signed from field trips to, or overnight travel, or anything else—meaning they are used for record keeping. Forms usually will stipulate all kinds of things, but they are NOT LEGALLY BINDING documents.
They are not related to the law or compliance. They are completely irrelevant, even if no one signed the form it would not matter because the school system would still have to comply with federal law.
So Vote for Pro for the following reason:
Pro provide information about the legal statutes.
Pro provided evidence
Pro provided the website where the law and regulatory codes are pushed and available
Pro make an effort to demonstrate that law is reasonable.
Two final point
As iterated several, several, several times the only time a school is not obligated to release information is in the event a counselor or representative of the school suspects abuse, whether sexual or violent against a minor. That is what the law states and what the federal regulatory explicitly state.
Finally, Con did not offer a single piece of evidence that could be verified or accessed. Moreover, Con did not address the legal framework for HIPAA. Con’s only points involved forms and a problem with a local school system. But again, forms are irrelevant. They don’t matter. They don’t matter at all and have nothing to do with HIPAA. Second, the Department of Health & Human Services can investigate any violation of the law and has a very simple way to file a complaint on their website. So Pro engaged in a debate about HIPAA and Con argued about forms and a local school system.
Vote for Pro!
Thanks again for the debate. Again, I please do not take my criticism of the arguments as a personal criticism. I hope everything works out for your family. I would definitely contact the Department of Health & Human Services to report a violation. Or call your local newspaper because if the school is systematically breaking or deviating from the law that would be something a reporter would want to look into.
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