Information About Laws Impacting Adolescent Health Care Access in California


The research and resources on this page should serve as supplemental information supporting the tools and charts on the Confidentiality Tools for Providers page. Many laws and regulations impact the confidentiality of and access to medical information.The materials on this page address some of the federal and state laws that impact access to adolescent medical records and help clarify when parents, teens and others may access an adolescent’s record.


When Therapy Records are Only as Private as a School Schedule, It’s Time to Update Federal Confidentiality LawRead this important piece about the conflict between the privacy expectations of patients and the legal reality of confidentiality law from Senior Attorney Rebecca Gudeman.

When Parents May Access Adolescent Medical RecordsThis document reviews what California law says about parent access to records given who consented for care and the type of service provided.  It does not address how service location may impact access.

The Youth Perspective on Laws Requiring Parental Involvement in an Abortion DecisionAn examination of the existence of laws in the majority of states to require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion. These laws present obstacles to minors’ ability to obtain abortions and exist in contrast to the expansion of minors’ ability to consent to “a range of sensitive health care services,” including other forms of sexual and reproductive health care.

The Federal Title X Family Planning Program: Privacy and Access Rules for AdolescentsThis resource explains the purpose of the Title X Family Planning Program – to make family planning and related health services available for free or at low cost to eligible individuals, including adolescents – and examines the consent and confidentiality rules outlined within.

Federal Privacy Protection for Substance Abuse Treatment Records: A document explaining the regulations and laws around the protection of private records pertaining to substance abuse treatment for adolescents.

The Affordable Care Act and Adolescent Health: Adolescents are more likely than adults to have their state-protected right to medical confidentiality violated by providers or insurers. Federal privacy rules obligate providers and insurers to better safeguard the confidentiality of information protected under state law.

My Health Info.orgThis website highlights important information about insurance and health information confidentiality. Visit the site by clicking the link above to learn more about confidentiality regardless of your insurance.

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