Student Health Care HIPAA/FERPA*
and Parental Consent Resources
Health care providers may share many kinds of health information with other providers for the purposes of payment, treatment, and health care operations. However, providers must receive specific consent to share an individual’s health records containing certain types of information.
When the terms consent or parental consent are used, they have the same meaning as the term informed written consent. This means that the parent has been fully informed regarding the action of the school system for which parental consent is being requested.
In Michigan, federal and state laws require providers to receive consent to share information such as mental health records (for purposes other than treatment, payment, and coordination of care) or information on treatment or referrals for alcohol and substance use.
More information and tools to navigate federal and state health information laws in Michigan can be found on the Protected Health Information (PHI) Consent Tool.
* HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.
* FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that gives parents the right to have access to their children’s education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records.
More information can be found on the HIPAA/FERPA Resources page.
Michigan Laws Related to Right of a Minor to obtain health care without consent or knowledge of parents.
Using clinical knowledge and judgement, the school nurse provides health care to students and staff, performs health screenings and coordinates referrals, and serves as a liaison between school personnel, family, community and healthcare providers to advocate for healthcare and a healthy school environment.
As schools plan for the needs of children in school, instruction, and safe learning environments, the plan includes federal, state and local policies and regulations, aligned with laws and standards of practice concerning school health services. This resource provides an overview, with links to specific federal or state laws.
One of parents’ most important rights is the right to give (or not give) their consent for certain actions of the school system with respect to their child with a disability. This short page will explain this right in detail.
School districts must provide parents with prior written notice which must clearly state the proposed actions and may need to received informed consent in writing from the parents in order to proceed. These procedural safeguards are designed to protect the rights of the student and their parents.