Bill To Change Mental Health Record Sharing Under HIPAA

June 17, 2015


In a new bill that is being introduced to The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee on June 16th changes would be made to mental health record sharing. It aims to change the hesitation that many healthcare providers have in sharing patient information, even when it is in the best interest of the patient.

In this case the bill if focusing primarily on mental health crises and cases. It would allow healthcare providers to share important information with a patient’s family members, friends and others with the patient’s permission when they have the capacity to make healthcare decisions. More importantly, it would allow healthcare providers to share that information with family and friends when the patient wasn’t in the capacity to make decisions. In the second situation, when the patient was not capable of making healthcare decisions, the healthcare provider could share information without the patient’s permission.

This bill has been created to allow healthcare providers greater freedom to care for their patients by sharing information that may be vital to their patient’s survival. In the cases of mental health crises, it is often immensely important that the people closest to the patient know what is going on. By allowing healthcare providers greater ability to share important information like this with family and friends, more suicides and other health issues can be prevented.

The bill is due to be reviewed this week. It also provides extra funding for training programs, mental health programs and more. It has the support of dozens of groups, associations and more. These changes would allow providers to be more proactive in their patient’s lives.