Confidentiality protections are critical in the provision of comprehensive primary care of adolescent patients. The protections differ based on state laws and are limited by electronic health record documentation and billing operations of individual physician practices. Physicians need to strive to increase their knowledge regarding confidentiality protections for their adolescent patients. Moreover, physicians should understand their role in preventing possible confidentiality breaches.

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A 16-year-old girl who has been your patient since birth presents to an appointment alone and requests testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). She also does not want her parents to find out about this visit. How would you proceed?

The provision of confidentiality and the ability of adolescents to consent for certain health concerns are the cornerstone of optimal adolescent health-care. (1) According to this tenet, information about an adolescent’s health-care is not disclosed without his...

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