ome Criticize Pending Mental Health Reform Legislation For Threatening Privacy

US News & World Report (8/12, Leonard) reported that mental health reform legislation pending in Congress has some critics who “point to portions that would loosen the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – a 1996 measure known as HIPAA that was intended to ensure patient privacy.” In addition, some critics “flag incentives for what’s called ‘assisted outpatient treatment,’ in which a judge can order someone with a serious mental illness – including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder – to follow a treatment plan that may include medication.” But, “John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, which supports outpatient assisted treatment, pointed to the fact that several groups have recognized it as a treatment option, including the…Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration.”

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— “Would Mental Health Laws Threaten Privacy and Patients’ Rights?,” Kimberly Leonard, US News & World Report, August 12, 2015.

Posted in In The News.