Bill Limiting Minor Medical Consent and Privacy Passed by Idaho Legislature

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The “Parental Rights in Medical Decision-Making” Act was delivered to Governor Little on March 15, 2024. In the absence of a veto, it will go into effect on July 1, 2024 as an emergency provision.

Minors (of specified ages) in Idaho have long held the right to consent to certain types of medical care, including certain types of behavioral health care, substance abuse disorder treatment, family planning, and some communicable diseases including sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As an extension of this right to consent to care, minors also had a right to confidentiality of information pertaining to care and treatment for which they consented.

If enacted, the new law will require that, except as otherwise provided by court order, health care providers shall not provide health care services to a minor without obtaining the prior consent of the minor child’s parent.

Exceptions include:

  • Emancipated minors (court ordered, married, active duty military)
  • The parent/guardian has given the healthcare provider a blanket consent to provide care and treatment;
  • A medical emergency exists in which furnishing the health care service is necessary in order to prevent death or imminent, irreparable physical injury to the minor; or after a reasonable effort the parent/guardian can’t be reached and minor child’s life or health would be seriously endangered by further delay.

Furthermore, health care providers would be required to release the minor’s health care information to the parent/guardian upon request unless:

  • The parent’s access to this information is prohibited by court order, or
  • The parent is subject to a criminal investigation involving the minor and a law enforcement officer requests that the information not be released to the parent.

The new law would define health information that parents have access to as: information or data, collected or recorded in any form or medium, and personal facts of information about events or relationships that relates to:

  1. The past, present, or future physical, mental, or behavioral health or condition of an individual;
  2. The provision of health care services to an individual; or
  3. Payment for the provision of said health care services.
MIEC Recommends:
  • If the law is enacted, update your practice’s HIPAA policies and procedures, patient portal access protocols, and consent forms as needed.
  • Update providers and staff.
  • Prepare to educate minor patients who have sought confidential services in the past & may no longer do so.
  • If you receive a request for a minor patient’s medical information and are unsure of whether or not to release the information to a parent/guardian absent the minor’s authorization, contact MIEC’s Claims Department for guidance: