HIPAA May Leave Families Of People With Mental Illness Shut Out.

In a 3,100-word piece, USA Today (3/3, Szabo) reports that the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, forbids” healthcare professionals “from disclosing a patient’s medical information without consent.” Because many practitioners “don’t understand what HIPAA actually allows them to say,” they “often shut families out, even in circumstances in which they’re legally allowed to share information, says Ron Manderscheid, executive director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors.” Former child psychologist Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) “wants to change the law itself, creating a special exception to the privacy rule in cases in which the health of people with serious mental illness would suffer if their families aren’t involved in their care.” The American Psychiatric Association has endorsed Murphy’s bill, HR 2646.

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— “Mental illness: Families cut out of care,” Liz Szabo, USA Today, February 26, 2016.

Posted in In The News.