Publication Date: 
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
A major issue facing the health of young adults is the often unintentional lack of confidentiality maintained in the provision of sensitive health services. Young adults who remain on their parents' health insurance plans may forgo sensitive services such as STD screening and treatment, family planning services and mental health treatment out of a concern that explanation of benefits will inform their parents, the policyholders. While the Affordable Care Act will grant more young adults access to health care services, ensuring confidential care remains a challenge whenever the parent and not the patient is the policyholder.
In their Critical Opportunities presentation, Ryan Cramer and Lauren Slive suggest strengthening the HIPAA Privacy Rule by adopting the Health Information Technology and Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH provision allows patients to demand that confidentiality be maintained when services are paid for in full out-of-pocket.
The Critical Opportunities initiative of the Public Health Law Research (PHLR) program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation presents evidence and ideas for proposed legal and policy changes that can positively impact public health challenges. This presenation shares these ideas and evidence, and includes the practical and political feasibility of implementing the proposed changes to laws and policies.