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    Privacy and Medical Records: Ethical and Legal Concerns

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    Patty is a medical assistant in a family practice office. She receives a telephone call from Ms. Smith, the mother of one of the practiceâ??s patients. Ms. Smith is concerned about her 19-year-old daughter because her daughter has not been feeling well lately. Ms. Smithâ??s daughter recently saw the doctor but did not share any of the information with her mom regarding the doctor's findings.

    Ms. Smith asks Patty to pull her daughterâ??s chart and to let her know what is wrong with her daughter.

    Can Patty do as Ms. Smith asks? Why or why not?

    What legal and ethical concepts are present in this situation that can influence the way Patty decided to handle this? Explain.

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    Solution Preview

    When each of us visits a doctor we fill out a lot of paperwork. Included with our medical history each of us is now asked to sign the HIPAA form, which sets a national standard for how health information is used and made available to others. States can further protect the patient's privacy but this Act sets a minimum level of protection.

    HIPAA (www.hhs.gov), which is the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, protects Ms. Smith's daughter's medical ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution details the legal and ethical concepts of releasing the medical records of a 19 year old patient to their parent.