This seminar will first review the standardized HIPAA requirements for patient medical records. From that perspective, the seminar will answer the issues presented by expanding to review state laws on patient confidentiality, evidentiary privileges, and exceptions mandated by law.
Erase the uncertainty of situations where multiple sources of client confidentiality conflict that governs the secrets held in confidence by mental health practitioners - beyond HIPAA.
This continuing education course will:
- Identify the basics of HIPAA requirements for patient records;
- Conduct an overview of medical record keeping standards, including electronic records;
- Compare and contrast state statutes and administrative regulations on professional requirements for confidentiality;
- Review the most common exceptions to state statutes and administrative regulations for confidentiality;
- Explore state and federal rules of evidence for legal standards governing the use of client secrets in any legal proceeding;
- Analyse case law from the courts apply standards of client confidentiality;
This course is designed for people tasked with developing, maintaining, and improving their understanding of applicable federal and states laws as applied to mental health practitioners.
The following persons will benefit from the continuing education course:
- Individual mental health care practitioners
- Marriage and family therapists
- Social workers
- Professional counsellors
- Pastoral counsellors
- Advanced practice registered nurses with psychiatric specialty
- Health care lawyers for individual practitioners and for health care facilities
- Corporate managers at mental health care facilities
For many years now, HIPAA has provided a federal right to privacy for patient medical records, including mental health records. However, fearing issues not with federal mandates but with state laws, the mental health care practitioner must know and comply with individual state laws and ethics governing the confidentiality of client information in the context of a doctor-patient relationship. This is apart and beyond the technical components of HIPAA.
HIPAA has standardized office medical record keeping, releases, and professional communications with third parties. But how is client confidentiality addressed beyond mere record keeping? Competing interests and privacy mandates create tension with these differing mandates.
Mere compliance with HIPAA allows risk the practitioner is HIPAA-compliant but liable to other confidentiality issues. Not only do state laws and codes of ethics mandate confidentiality, but there are many state law exceptions recognized by HIPAA. The exceptions sometimes allow and sometimes mandate what would otherwise be a confidentiality breach.
The sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship then moves to uncertain territory where client confidentiality meets a duty to act, such as, a duty to warn of impending harm or a duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Such duties to act do not require the permission of the client, or even the notification to the client, that information about them is being disclosed and reported. This uncertainty exists at a time when the practitioner is most vulnerable - when the practitioner must decide whether and how to act.
Doubtful conduct by practitioners will be examined to their detriment by patients suing for malpractice and licensure boards investigating breaches of confidentiality.