HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health (Update)

$5.00 | CE Hours:1.00 | Beginning

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CE Course Description:

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule provides patients with important privacy rights and protections with respect to their health information, including important controls over how their health information is used and disclosed by health plans and health care professionals. The question is, how is it appropriate under the Privacy Rule for a health care professional to share the protected health information of a patient who is being treated for a mental health condition? This course will answer that very question, while providing recommendations that may be used to effectively disclose and protect patient health information. 

Author: This publication was prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. 

Recommended Citation: Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR) updated June 4, 2020.

References / Contributions by: 

  1. Guidance on Sharing Information Related to Mental Health, https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/forprofessionals/special-topics/mental-health/index.html
  2. How HIPAA Allows Doctors to Respond to the Opioid Crisis, https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hipaa-opioid-crisis.pdf
  3. Guidance on Personal Representatives, https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/forprofessionals/privacy/guidance/personal-representatives/index.html

 Retrieved From: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-pr

CE Course Objectives:

  1. Recognize when HIPAA permits health care professionals 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.
  2. Identify when HIPAA permits health care professionals to 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.
  3. Recall when HIPAA permits health care professionals to communicate with family members, law enforcement, or others when the patient presents a serious and imminent threat of harm to self or others; communicate to law enforcement about the release of a patient brought in for an emergency psychiatric hold.
  4. Evaluate the heightened protections afforded to psychotherapy notes by the Privacy Rule, a parent’s right to access the protected health information of a minor child as the child’s personal representative, and the potential applicability of Federal alcohol and drug abuse confidentiality regulations or state laws that may provide more stringent protections for the information than HIPAA.
  5. Examine the intersection of HIPAA and FERPA in a school setting.

CE Outline with Main Points:

  1. Background
  2. Questions and Answers about HIPAA and Mental Health
  3. Additional FAQs on Sharing Information Related to Treatment for Mental Health or Substance Use Disorder—Including Opioid Abuse
  4. Substance Use Disorder Treatment

ACE credit is not offered for this course. A list of courses offering ACE credit can be found here.


CAADE Approval

This course does not have CAADE approval for CEUs.


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Added On: 06/04/2020

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