Health Information for Minors & Parents

In April of 2021, Congress passed the CURES Act Law to reduce barriers for patients and allow them better access to their medical records and health information. By ensuring that patients have access to their medical records, they can take control of their own health care and make informed decisions about their treatment.  

What does this mean for minors?

By keeping patient information confidential, pediatricians can ensure that children feel safe and comfortable discussing their health with their doctor. This can help to ensure that they receive the best possible care.

Rights in Oklahoma

The law in Oklahoma give parents the right to:

  • Make healthcare decisions for their child before the 18th birthday.
  • Designate others who may consent to care or make healthcare decisions for their child.
  • Agree in writing for a healthcare provider (meaning a doctor or nurse) to treat their child. Treatment includes giving a physical exam, ordering prescription medicines, or refusing any of these.
  • Review their children's medical records unless those records are protected by law.
Federal and Oklahoma laws give teens certain rights to make their own medical  decisions and keep those decisions private, even from their parents. These laws include:
  • The ability to consent for their own STI testing at any time.
    Minor's consent to examination and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, 63 OK Stat § 63-1-532.1
  • Minors may self-consent for limited healthcare treatment and keep their records private and confidential from parents regarding treatment, diagnosis or prevention of pregnancy, STI’s or drug and alcohol abuse if they have been diagnosed with one of these conditions currently or in the past.
    Right of self-consent under certain conditions - Doctor patient privileges, 63 OK Stat § 63-2602
  • Certain minors on Federally Funded healthcare programs (like Soonercare) may consent to family planning services.
    Social Security Act, Section 42 USC 1905(a)(i), (a)(4)(C)

Records regarding these types of self-consent are protected by law. Variety Care will not provide access to parents/guardians with a court order or permission of the minor.

What A Visit Looks Like

As adolescents become adults, it is important to help them understand their own health care needs  and make sure they are able to take care of their health on their own. 

To provide the best care for your adolescent, it may be important to:
  • Ask you and/or your adolescent to fill out questionnaires to help identify issues that need to be discussed.
  • Discuss current behaviors and family/friend interactions which may affect their health.
  • Ask questions about past experiences and risky activities.
  • Do a physical exam (if needed)

To help adolescent patients build trust with their healthcare providers as they prepare for adulthood, we may ask to have private time (without the parent present) with the child. This helps adolescents learn how to speak with healthcare providers. It also lets adolescents ask questions they may be embarrassed or afraid to ask in front of their parents. Providers give safety information to the adolescent.

We encourage patients to talk with parents about all health information that is discussed in private.  Parents can give guidance about health issues to their adolescents at any time. The healthcare provider will  tell you directly if they believe your child is at great risk for injury or death.

Parents may request any records except when a minor self-consents to the services listed above. Adolescents may give complete or limited (restricted) access to the medical information in MyChart to their parents. With limited (restricted) access, parents can still use MyChart to communicate with their child’s healthcare providers. Parents can access medical records by contacting Variety Care’s medical records department.