Minor Access to the Information in a Portal Account is Subject to Legal Considerations

While clinics and providers see many benefits to providing access to a portal account to minor patients, especially adolescents, portal policies regarding minor patients should only be determined with full consideration of the HIPAA privacy rule and state or other applicable law. Work closely with your vendor as software is regularly updated to support you in complying with the law. 

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Work with Clinic Legal Counsel to Develop a Minor-Access Policy

A written clinic policy governing minor access to the patient portal is advised. It is important that your legal counsel confirm your operations are also in compliance with the law. Consider the balance of risk with reward when developing a minor-access policy for your unique patient population.

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  • Minor-Access Policy - Examples of minor-access policies developed by Colorado safety-net clinics.

Use Proxy Access to Give Parents or Guardians Access to a Minor’s Account

Proxy access is a tool that is used to give parents or legal guardians access to a portal account. Proxy access can be restricted or withdrawn based on clinic policies or the HIPAA privacy rule and state or other applicable law.

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  • Request for Proxy Access - Example of a form used by a Colorado safety-net clinic for a parent or guardian to request proxy access to a minor’s portal account.

Portal Systems Can Offer Tools to Keep Clinics in Compliance with a Minor-Access Policy

Software tools may be available to aid clinics in managing proxy accounts and keeping them in alignment with minor-access policies. Work with portal vendors to understand the functionality that is available. Test your system carefully to be sure the system performs as expected.

The information set forth in this Knowledge Center should not be construed as legal or medical advice, a legal or medical opinion on specific facts or representative of the views of the Colorado Health Foundation, its directors, affiliates, agents or representatives unless so stated. This Knowledge Center is not intended as a definitive statement on the subject matter referenced herein. Rather, it is intended to serve as general information for readers, providing practical information for health care organizations seeking to implement and maintain patient portals. By downloading, using or accessing information contained in this Knowledge Center, you agree to be bound by the Terms of Use set forth at http://www.coloradohealth.org/terms-of-use together with all agreements or instruments referenced therein.