Dear Teen and Parent,
In pediatrics, often the patient is talked ABOUT, instead of talked TO. As children grow and develop, there should be a transition in the way we care for our pediatric patients. Teens need to learn to actively participate in their own health care. We want each teen patient in our practice to learn to take responsibility for their own health and to start building a relationship of trust with their doctor.
Teens need to have a caring adult helping make health care decisions, but there are certain circumstances which under Kansas law will allow a teen under age 18 ( a “minor”) to seek care without parental consent. We encourage teens to involve a parent in any difficult issue they are confronting, and can help facilitate open communication between teens and parents if they are unable to do so without help.
Teens have the right to confidentiality with their health care provider. We will not share information that your teen has told us in confidence UNLESS: 1.) there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect of the teen or another, or 2.) there is threat of harm to the teen or another.
Kansas law allows minors to consent to their own medical care without a parent or guardian in specific circumstances: 1.) care and treatment for drug and alcohol problems, and 2.) certain reproductive health care, such as for STD testing, pregnancy testing, and contraceptive use.
At Redbud Pediatrics:
AT AGE 13 YEARS: Teens in our practice will be given their own room (without siblings) for their well and sick visits. It is our expectation that a portion of well visits will be spent in private without the parent present.
AT AGE 16 YEARS: Teens may consent to their own care if the parent is not immediately available. This means that a 16 year old may come to any or all visits without an accompanying parent if desired. We encourage parents to wait in the waiting room and allow their teen to facilitate their own visits. This helps them to transition into taking responsibility for their own medical care.
AT AGE 18 YEARS: 18 year olds are legal adults. This means that parents are not permitted any access to any medical information or records unless the patient has given specific written permission (see our “Over 18 HIPAA Release and Consent” document). Also, patients on a state insurance plan (any MEDICAID plan) need to be alerted that their insurance coverage will STOP IMMEDIATELY on the day that they turn 19 years old, unless there is an exemption given in advance due to certain life threatening chronic diseases.