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

1. A health care professional has questions regarding HIPAA and the ability to communicate with a patient's family members and friends. Which of the following informational points of interest should be communicated to the health care professional?

A. Health care professionals may not speak to patients' family members and/or friends, for any reason, without written consent from the patient.

B. Health care professionals may not speak to patients' family members and/or friends, for any reason other than for payment-related concerns, without written consent from the patient.

C. Where a patient is present and has the capacity to make health care decisions, health care professionals may communicate with a patient’s family members, friends, or other persons the patient has involved in his or her health care or payment for care, so long as the patient signs a waiver.

D. Where a patient is present and has the capacity to make health care decisions, health care professionals may communicate with a patient’s family members, friends, or other persons the patient has involved in his or her health care or payment for care, so long as the patient does not object.


2. Which of the following statements is most accurate?

A. The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires a covered entity to obtain a patient’s authorization prior to a disclosure of psychotherapy notes for any reason, including a disclosure for treatment purposes to a health care professional other than the originator of the notes.

B. The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires a covered entity to obtain a patient’s authorization prior to a disclosure of psychotherapy notes, however, the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows for the full disclosure, without written consent, of psychotherapy notes for treatment purposes to a health care professional other than the originator of the notes.

C. The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not require a covered entity to obtain a patient’s authorization prior to a disclosure of psychotherapy notes for any reason.

D. The originator of the psychotherapy notes may disclose said notes to other health care professionals for treatment purposes without a patient’s authorization.


3. A health care professional is developing an educational lecture focused on section 164.502(g) of theHIPAA Privacy Rule. Which of the following informational points of interest should be included in the health care professional's lecture?

A. A parent is not treated as a minor child’s personal representative when the minor is over the age of 12.

B. A parent is not treated as a minor child’s personal representative when the minor is over the age of 14.

C. A parent is not treated as a minor child’s personal representative when State or other law does not require the consent of a parent or other person before a minor can obtain a particular health care service, and when the minor child is over the age of 16.

D. A parent is not treated as a minor child’s personal representative when State or other law does not require the consent of a parent or other person before a minor can obtain a particular health care service, the minor consents to the health care service, and the minor child has not requested the parent be treated as a personal representative.


4. A health care professional has questions regarding HIPAA and imminent threat situations. Which of the following informational points of interest should be communicated to the health care professional?

A. The Privacy Rule permits a health care professional to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when the health care professional believes the patient presents a serious and imminent threat to self or others.

B. The Privacy Rule permits a health care professional to disclose necessary information about a patient to family members when the health care professional believes the patient presents a serious and imminent threat to self or others - however, a health care professional may not disclose any patient information to law information for any reason.

C. The Privacy Rule only permits a health care professional to disclose necessary information about a patient to the patient’s lawyer when the health care professional believes the patient presents a serious and imminent threat to self or others.

D. The Privacy Rule only permits a health care professional to disclose necessary information about a patient to other health care professionals when the health care professional believes the patient presents a serious and imminent threat to self or others.


5. Which of the following statements best defines the term “personal representative,” as defined by HIPAA?

A. “Personal representatives,” as defined by HIPAA, are those persons who have authority, under applicable law, to make financial decisions for a patient.

B. “Personal representatives,” as defined by HIPAA, are those persons who have authority, under applicable law, to make health care decisions for a patient.

C. “Personal representatives,” as defined by HIPAA, are those persons who have authority, under applicable law, to make legally binding decisions for a patient.

D. “Personal representatives,” as defined by HIPAA, are those persons who have authority, under applicable law, to make changes to a patient’s will.


6. A law enforcement officer brings a 48-year-old male patient to a hospital to be placed on a temporary psychiatric hold, and requests to be notified if or when the patient is released for the purposes of locating or identifying a suspect. Can the health care facility make the aforementioned notification?

A. No, a health care facility may not provide any patient information to a law enforcement officer for any reason.

B. No, a health care facility may not provide any patient information to a law enforcement officer if the patient is under the age of 65.

C. No, the Privacy Rule does not permit a HIPAA covered entity, such as a hospital, to disclose certain protected health information, including the date and time of admission and discharge, in response to a law enforcement official’s request, for the purpose of locating or identifying a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person.

D. Yes, the Privacy Rule permits a HIPAA covered entity, such as a hospital, to disclose certain protected health information, including the date and time of admission and discharge, in response to a law enforcement official’s request, for the purpose of locating or identifying a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person.


7. Which of the following statements best describes when a health care professional may notify a patient’s family that the patient overdosed because of opioid abuse?

A. A health care professional may only notify a patient’s family that he or she overdosed because of opioid abuse 24 hours after the patient receives health care.

B. A health care professional may only notify a patient’s family that he or she overdosed because of opioid abuse 48 hours after the patient receives health care.

C. A health care professional generally may notify the patient’s family, friends, or caregivers involved in the patient’s health care or payment for care if the patient is incapacitated and the health care professional determines, based on the exercise of professional judgment, that notification and disclosure of PHI is in the patient’s best interests.

D. A health care professional may not notify a patient’s family, for any reason, if the patient overdosed because of opioid abuse.


8. Which of the following statements is most accurate?

A. A hospital may not notify a patient’s personal representative about the patient’s admission or discharge for any reason.

B. A hospital may notify a patient’s personal representative about the patient’s admission or discharge and share other PHI with the personal representative without limitation.

C. A hospital may notify a patient’s personal representative about the patient’s admission or discharge and share other PHI with the personal representative, only if the patient is over the age of 65.

D. A hospital may notify a patient’s personal representative about the patient’s admission or discharge and share other PHI with the personal representative, only if the patient is under the age of 65.


9. A 42-year-old male patient, that poses a danger to himself, stops coming to psychotherapy sessions and does not respond to attempts to make contact. Does HIPAA permit the therapist to contact a family member to check on the patient's well-being even if the patient has told the therapist that he does not want information shared with a family member?

A. Yes, if the disclosure is needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat and the family member is in aposition to avert or lessen the threat.

B. Yes, only if the family member agrees to contact law enforcement.

C. No, if the patient is under the age of 65.

D. No, if the patient is receiving medication therapy.


10. Does HIPAA require a mental health care provider to let a patient know that the provider is going to share information with others before disclosing PHI to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat?

A. Yes, if the patient is on medication therapy.

B. Yes; however the health care professional must contact law enforcement within 24 hours of disclosing a patient’s PHI.

C. No; however the health care professional must contact the patient within 24 hours of disclosing PHI.

D. Not at the time of disclosure; however, the Notice of Privacy Practices should contain an example of this type of disclosure so patients are informed in advance of that possibility.


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