In light of the opioid crisis, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has launched new websites regarding how HIPAA applies to mental and behavioral health information.
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The new websites are intended to reorganize the existing act to make it more user friendly.
They also offer some insight as to what is disclosable, especially related to mental health and substance abuse.
The reason for the changes is simple. The OCR wants to let families know how to access information needed to prevent overdoses and other mental health issues, while still protecting the privacy of patients under HIPAA.
The OCR is also working on updating HIPAA guidance in regards to research.
Don’t forget, the same HIPAA rules and requirements still apply to your practice. We help our clients ensure that they are compliant with HIPAA and that their policies and procedures are up to date.
Make sure that your staff are trained regularly, your inventory is up to date and your risk assessment is complete to avoid hefty fines from the federal government.
There are no excuses when it comes to HIPAA and protected health information.
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P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.