Because laws about confidentiality and minors’ consent for health services vary from state to state and clinicians’ communication styles vary, clinicians’ correspondence and conversations about privacy issues will necessarily vary from setting to setting. Following is a sample letter to parents of an adolescent developed for a particular practice that may be adapted to meet other practices’ needs, in accordance with their state’s laws addressing confidentiality and consent:
Congratulations! Your child has recently reached adolescence—an age when mental, physical, and hormonal changes have started to occur even if they are not yet visible. This means that adolescents are no longer children, so we believe they require a different approach to their care. To respond to the changing health care needs of adolescents, we have the following guidelines:
We believe that these guidelines are an important step in helping your adolescent to learn the best way to stay healthy and become a more effective and independent health care consumer. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your provider.
Steven Kovar, M.D.
Kristine Liberty, M.D.
Jessica Ciszek, M.D.
Taryn Vrasich, CPNP
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