HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

Guidance issued by OCR regarding when HIPAA permits health care providers to disclose PHI of patients receiving treatment for mental health conditions. Also provides information regarding protections afforded to psychotherapy notes, a parent’s rights to access information of a minor child, applicability of Federal alcohol and drug confidentiality regulations and state laws, and the intersection of HIPAA and FERPA in school settings.

Key Points

  • HIPAA permits providers to communicate with patients’ family members or others involved in a patient’s care in certain circumstances, including to lessen the threat of potential harm.


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