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Paxton Investigating Companies Withholding Medical Records from Parents

State

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton | Image by Jacquelyn Martin / AP

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(The Center Square) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has expanded the scope of an investigation his office launched into hospitals and corporations that are denying parents the ability to access the medical records of their children.

The investigation began in October after the Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System published policies that appear to prevent parents from accessing [the] medical records [of children] who are between the ages of 13 and 17. His office launched the investigation after it received complaints from parents and guardians.

In an Oct. 27 letter to the health system, he wrote if the policies were true, they “violate Texas law and harm parents and children.”

His office is requiring the health system to provide an extensive amount of information within 30 days of Oct. 27.

He also wrote, “when a family is in crisis and a child’s life or health is at risk, parents and guardians should have easy access to medical records so they can be adequately informed to make healthcare decisions. We will take all actions necessary to ensure that those parents and guardians continue to have access to their children’s medical records as required by Texas law.”

In response to his initial investigation, the health system issued a statement to KHOU News, stating, “We are not aware of any specific patient complaints about access to records, and first learned about the complaint in question via the Attorney General’s press release that was shared Thursday afternoon.

“That said, 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.”

After further investigation, the AG’s office said it learned that Epic Systems Corporation, a provider of electronic access to medical records, may have additional information regarding the concerns raised by parents and guardians. His office then sent a CID to Epic Systems Corporation on Nov. 1 also requesting a significant amount of information be provided to his office within 30 days.

He also said, “Memorial Hermann appears to be relying on a novel – and incorrect – reading of Texas law as the basis for its policy,” and raised additional concerns.

“Too many companies are taking marching orders from the radical left, especially when it comes to their all-out assault on family values and parental rights,” he said. “Texas law forbids any hospital or corporate entity from denying parents access to their children’s medical records and we’re going to ensure that the law is followed.”

The Attorney General’s Office is also encouraging parents and guardians who’ve been denied access to their child’s medical records to contact the AG’s Consumer Protection Division. Texans can do so by filing a complaint online or calling the division’s hotline at 1-800-621-0508.

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