Misinterpreted HIPAA Rules May Prevent Mental Health Discussions.

American Medical News (5/3, Lubell) reported, “In refusing to discuss mentally ill patients’ conditions with family members or caretakers, physicians could be misinterpreting federal privacy rules, witnesses told a House panel April 25. There’s a concern that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is compromising patient care and public safety by interfering with these discussions, said Rep. Tim Murphy (R, Pa.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee.” In fact, “in instances where patients may pose imminent and serious threats to themselves or others, health care professionals may invoke their ethical ‘duty to warn’ by alerting family members, enforcement officials or perhaps even the targets of those threats…said” Leon Rodriguez, director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights.

Related Links:

— “Misreading HIPAA privacy law blocks mental health discussions, “Jennifer Lubell, American Medical News, May 3, 2013.

Posted in In The News.