HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health
HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health Course Objectives and Outline:
- Explain at least one key factor of the HIPAA Privacy Rule as it relates to the mental health field.
- Describe at least two clinical circumstances in which sharing client information is permitted.
- Identify who is entitled to information while treating a minor.
- Discuss one HIPAA protection for psychotherapy notes.
- Questions and Answers about HIPAA and Mental Health
- Does HIPAA allow a health care provider to communicate with a patient’s family, friends, or other persons who are involved in the patient’s care?
- Does HIPAA provide extra protections for mental health information compared with other health information?
- Is a health care provider permitted to discuss an adult patient’s mental health information with the patient’s parents or other family members?
- When does mental illness or another mental condition constitute incapacity under the Privacy Rule? For example, what if a patient who is experiencing temporary psychosis or is intoxicated does not have the capacity to agree or object to a health care provider sharing information with a family member, but the provider believes the disclosure is in the patient’s best interests?
- If a health care provider knows that a patient with a serious mental illness has stopped taking a prescribed medication, can the provider tell the patient’s family members?
- Can a minor child’s doctor talk to the child’s parent about the patient’s mental health status and needs?
- At what age of a child is the parent no longer the personal representative of the child for HIPAA purposes?
- Does a parent have a right to receive a copy of psychotherapy notes about a child’s mental health treatment?
- What options do family members of an adult patient with mental illness have if they are concerned about the patient’s mental health and the patient refuses to agree to let a health care provider share information with the family?
- Does HIPAA permit a doctor to contact a patient’s family or law enforcement if the doctor believes that the patient might hurt herself or someone else?
- If a doctor believes that a patient might hurt himself or herself or someone else, is it the duty of the provider to notify the family or law enforcement authorities?
- Does HIPAA prevent a school administrator, or a school doctor or nurse, from sharing concerns about a student’s mental health with the student’s parents or law enforcement authorities?
0.5 hours of the 1 hour may be used toward ethics
Instructors: Nicole Hiltibran, MA, LMFT; Julie Campbell, Phd
Author: Health and Human Services
It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.
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