Implementation Considerations for Telehealth Programs Serving Children
Rural program planners seeking to implement telehealth services for children in schools should be aware of
regulations that protect student health records. In traditional school-based health centers, healthcare staff
follow confidentiality guidelines for student health records established by the Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act (FERPA). However, school-based telehealth programs that bring in outside staff and healthcare
providers typically follow confidentiality guidelines for
student health records established by HIPAA. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the
U.S. Department of Education have released joint
guidance to help school officials and healthcare professionals navigate the application of FERPA and
HIPAA to student health records. The National Association of School Nurses also offers
to help schools understand HIPAA and FERPA privacy rules.
School-based health centers typically require parents or legal representatives to sign consent forms
allowing children to be treated via telehealth. Rural telehealth programs should also be aware of
regulations that grant minors the
right to consent to medical treatment and services without parental permission. The age at which
a minor can consent to treatment may differ depending on the medical condition. For example, within
states, the age of consent for treatment for outpatient mental and behavioral health may differ from
the age of consent for treatment of sexually transmitted infections. For mHealth models, rural
telehealth programs should be aware that the terms of service in some applications may require all
users to be over the age of 18, even if state laws allow minors to consent to treatment. Rural
telehealth programs may consider reaching out to the mHealth vendor to seek an exception for their program.
Resources to Learn More
Clinical Update: Telepsychiatry With Children
Reviews the pediatric telepsychiatry evidence base. Describes best practices for delivering telepsychiatry to
children and adolescents and updates to procedures for conducting telepsychiatry services.
Citation: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 56(10), 875–893.
for Action: Advancing the Adoption of Telehealth in Child Care Centers and Schools to Promote
Children's Health and Well Being
Describes effective telehealth programs that have been implemented in schools and childcare centers and their
impact on improving access to healthcare for children. Outlines a guide to establishing a school or childcare
center telehealth program.
Organization(s): The Children's Partnership
Telehealth to Improve Maternal and Child Health Outcomes in Georgia
Describes telehealth programs implemented in Georgia working to increase access to healthcare services among
children. Describes collaborations with existing programs to expand the use of telehealth, such as Women,
Infants, and Children Nutrition Program, Children's Medical Services Program, and high-risk obstetrics clinics.
Covers telehealth program results, lessons learned, and next steps.
Organization(s): Association of State and Territorial Health Officials