Local General Assembly Members’ Bill to Close Loophole on Juvenile Medical Records Availability Passes

By Benjamin Cox on May 19, 2023 at 9:21am

Two area General Assembly members have collaborated to close a loophole in state law when it comes to medical records of those with developmental disabilities.

Sponsored by State Senator Steve McClure and co-sponsored in the House by State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, SB 188 would ensure that parents of children with developmental disabilities would have access to their medical records without having to take time off of work to go to court.

Davidsmeyer explains why the loophole is particularly onerous: “If a child is below the age of 12, the parent has access to their medical records. If they are over the age of 18, they can be declared a developmentally disabled adult and the parent can have access to their records. But between the age of 12 and 18, there was a gap.”

Davidsmeyer says that Senator McClure had a mother approach him about the problem, because she had to take off of work to attend a court date to petition for her child’s medical records because their child was between the ages of 12-18.

Davidsmeyer says the bill does more than just close the loophole: “What this bill does is that it says if they are the HIPAA representative and they had to sign a consent form for a procedure that they have access to the medical records. Now, that doesn’t mean all of them. For every record that they are the HIPAA representative or signed a consent form, they will have access to. It also allows the doctor to withhold records if there is suspected abuse. We want to make sure that we are protecting these individuals from anybody that could do them harm.”

The bill passed last Friday unanimously. It now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.