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I work in a Medical Office in WA State. A parent brings in a parenting plan. Do we legally have to abide by it?

Richland, WA |

Mother brings in parenting plan and states she had medical decision rights. Father calls and wants child records. What is our recourse

Attorney Answers 4


Under RCW 26.10.150 Both parents have access to the child's records unless the court order states otherwise. Just because one parent has sole decision making, does not mean the other parent can't have access to the records. The parenting plan needs to clear say the Father can't have the records before you ignore the law.

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The office is not bound by a Parenting plan, but you are bound by HIPPA. Doesn't your office have an attorney on retainer? If not, you should.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements

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The other Mr. Hawkins (no relation) is right, federal and state law and regulations describe when you can release a child's information to his/her parents. That's the type of question you want to be able to consult with an attorney in private about so that you can discuss the types of records requested, the content of the records, and how the law applies to those records. If your staff is not already trained on requirements for release of medical records in this situation you should seek training and/or retain an attorney to advise your office in situations like this.

Providing this general response does not create an attorney client relationship.

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You should check with your regular attorney for an answer specific to this situation. Normally, the right to review records can be treated differently than the right to make a medical decision for the child. On the other hand, record confidentiality is important. Unless the dad has a court order authorizing release of the records to him, I would be cautious about doing so. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on parenting plans (including joint or sole decision making ) for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this Answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes

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