Healthcare Information Security

Mental Health Security

HHS Final Rule Differs from HIPAA Regulations on Data Sharing

January 3, 2018 - The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a final rule that simplifies data sharing for patients’ substance abuse records, differing from current HIPAA regulations. Specifically, the updated 42 CFR Part 2 (part 2) simplifies how records can be shared for billing and operations...


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OCR Reiterates HIPAA Guidance for Opioid Crisis Response

by Elizabeth Snell

OCR recently discussed its current tools and initiatives in place to help organizations face the opioid crisis, touching on HIPAA guidance and how the agency is implementing the 21st Century Cures Act. OCR launched two new webpages...

NJ Psychologist to Fight HIPAA Violation Allegations

by Elizabeth Snell

New Jersey-based psychologist Dr. Barry Helfmann has been accused of failing to prevent patient mental health diagnoses and treatment details from being released. The alleged HIPAA violations reportedly occurred when Helfmann’s...

HIPAA Privacy Rules Considered in Recent Mental Health Bill

by Elizabeth Snell

The House of Representatives passed the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) last week, which has a provision stating that more clarity is needed around existing HIPAA privacy rules. It is important to reduce any...

HIPAA Privacy Rule Changes Proposed for Background Checks

by Elizabeth Snell

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced potential modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule in an effort to improve the background check process individuals go through in order to purchase a firearm.   Under the...

AHA Discusses Mental Health Legislation, HIPAA Regulations

by Elizabeth Snell

The American Health Association (AHA) recently announced its support of mental health legislation that would potentially affect current HIPAA regulations and also allow states to use federal Medicaid funds to cover services for adults in...

Mental Health Facility Has PHI Data Breach of 11K Patients

by Elizabeth Snell

A mental health facility in Texas recently reported a potential PHI data breach that may affect over 11,000 patients. El Paso-based Emergence Health Network (EHN) first announced on October 8, 2015 that one of its computer servers was...

HIPAA Regulations Discussed in Latest Mental Health Bill

by Elizabeth Snell

A recently proposed mental health bill would potentially alter HIPAA regulations when it comes to individuals being treated for mental health conditions and their family members. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and U.S. Senator Chris...

HIPAA Privacy Rules Clarified in New Mental Health Bill

by Elizabeth Snell

Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced legislation this week designed to clarify HIPAA privacy rules as they apply to mental health. The Including Families in Mental Health Recovery Act also aims to decrease mental health stigma,...

Proposed Mental Health Bill Accounts for HIPAA Regulations

by Elizabeth Snell

A recently introduced mental health bill would also ensure that individuals with mental illness can have their caregivers treated as personal representatives for the purposes of HIPAA regulations. The Helping Families in Mental Health...

Calculating mental health data exposure ramifications

by Patrick Ouellette

When discussing patient privacy, mental and behavioral health records have a higher standard of care because of the sensitive nature of the information. Mental health patients have the subjective right to decide what is and isn’t...

HHS releases proposed rule on HIPAA, mental health reports

by Patrick Ouellette

Almost a year after issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a proposed rule based on comments regarding the HIPAA Privacy Rule and...

OCR releases Prime Healthcare data breach resolution

by Patrick Ouellette

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently came to a $275,000 data breach resolution agreement with Prime Healthcare of California, but HHS said it would remain until silent Prime...

EPIC offers HIPAA Privacy Rule tips for mental health data

by Patrick Ouellette

Back on April 23, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent out a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to help determine if HIPAA is a major barrier to covered entities accessing mental health patient data...

Prime Healthcare, OCR agree to $275K data breach resolution

by Patrick Ouellette

Prime Healthcare begrudgingly resolved one of the two federal investigations that it’s been a part of over the past two years. Shasta Regional Medical Center, a Prime Healthcare organization, was fined $95,000 last November by...

HHS requests comment on HIPAA’s role in mental health reports

by Patrick Ouellette

With intent to ascertain whether HIPAA truly is an obstruction to accessing mental health patient data to enter into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for gun purchases, the Department of Health and Human...

Does HIPAA restrict mental health data reporting?

by Patrick Ouellette

Mental health privacy continues to be a hot-button issue in courtrooms across the country, especially when you factor in gun control. Now the government is trying to decide how far-reaching HIPAA is and should be as it relates to supplying...

Iowa law students examine mental health privacy laws

by Patrick Ouellette

How mental healthcare organizations interpret privacy and security laws can greatly impact the safety of patients and their data. Some University of Iowa law students have taken matters into their own hands and formed a handbook and...

November health data breach roundup

by Patrick Ouellette

The health data breach trend has continued right along from summer deep into the fall, as news of a few different types of breaches broke late last week and early this week. While the cases are dissimilar, the symptoms aren’t:...

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