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Tags: paxton | settlement | medical records | access

Texas AG Settles Kids' Medical Records Access Case

By    |   Thursday, 16 November 2023 06:32 PM EST

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has successfully settled with the Memorial Hermann Health System (MHHS), securing a commitment from the healthcare provider to implement a new digital program that guarantees parents full access to their children's medical records.

The investigation by Paxton was initiated in 2022, prompted by concerns of possible misrepresentations by MHHS regarding parental access to medical records of minors. At the time, Paxton said his office had received numerous complaints from parents and guardians who said they couldn't access their children's medical records if the child were between 13 and 17 years old, as reported by KHOU-11.

MHHS responded to the investigation, stating: "We believe all our health system's policies are in compliance with both federal and Texas state laws. We take all patient-related concerns very seriously and will investigate any complaints brought to our attention.

"We will also work with the attorney general's office to determine the facts and appropriately address this matter."

The AG argued that the MHHS website implied that state law prevented them from providing parents with specific medical information about their adolescent children.

Upon closer examination, Paxton determined that the restrictions were not rooted in state law but were instead attributed to MHHS's technological limitations. In response to this finding, MHHS has agreed to introduce a new digital program to grant parents comprehensive access to their children's medical records.

While awaiting the full implementation of this digital program, MHHS's website will include clear instructions for parents to obtain their adolescent children's medical records.

"MHHS further voluntarily assures the state that it will continue to ensure open and transparent parental access in accordance with Texas and federal law to their adolescent child's medical records," the agreement notes.

Paxton said: "This settlement represents the major progress my office has made to ensure parents' rights are protected in an era where medical decision-making has become painfully politically charged. By achieving this agreement, we have ensured the best possible outcome for Texas families."

In September, the Texas Senate acquitted Paxton on 16 articles of impeachment, preserving his position in state office. Despite this victory, Paxton remains entangled in legal challenges, with an impending state trial on securities fraud and an ongoing FBI investigation.

Information from Thompson/Reuters was used in this story.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has successfully settled with the Memorial Hermann Health System, securing a commitment from the health care provider to implement a new digital program that guarantees parents full access to their children's medical records.
paxton, settlement, medical records, access
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Thursday, 16 November 2023 06:32 PM
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