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New HIPAA guidance clarifies Sharing Information Related to Mental Health

New HIPAA guidance clarifies Sharing Information Related to Mental Health 


In the guidance, were addressed some of the more frequently asked questions about when it is appropriate under the Privacy Rule for a health care provider to share the protected health information of a patient who is being treated for a mental health condition. 

The guidance clarifies when HIPAA permits health care providers to: 

• Communicate with a patient’s family members, friends, or others involved in the patient’s care; 

• Communicate with family members when the patient is an adult;

• Communicate with the parent of a patient who is a minor; 

• Consider the patient’s capacity to agree or object to the sharing of their information;

• Involve a patient’s family members, friends, or others in dealing with patient failures to adhere to medication or other therapy; 

• Listen to family members about their loved ones receiving mental health treatment; 

• Communicate with family members, law enforcement, or others when the patient presents a serious and imminent threat of harm to self or others; and 

• Communicate to law enforcement about the release of a patient brought in for an emergency psychiatric hold.

For more information Related to Mental and Behavioral Health, including Opioid Overdose please visit HHS web portal. 



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