Presented by John Petrila at the 2013 Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference in Harrisburg, PA. Presentation covers how HIPAA applies (and does not apply) to sharing medical and behavioral health information between systems and agencies for justice-involved individuals from a national perspective and different models for information-sharing that are both effective and consistent with HIPAA.
This Center of Excellence summary of key points regarding sharing protected health information at each step along the sequential intercept model. It is drawn from a preconference workshop presented by John Petrila (2013) at the 2013 Pennsylvania Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference. Slides from the presentation are available here. The information is provided as a guide but we suggest that you consult with legal authorities for specific applications.
The CoE created a resource guide to support counties who participate in the cross-systems mapping workshop. The guide includes information sharing guidelines for mental health and criminal justice agencies.
Misunderstandings about HIPAA are sometimes so deeply ingrained that they assume the status of myth. These myths have serious consequences for persons with mental illness who are justice-involved. They can bring efforts at cross-system collaboration to a halt and they can compromise clinical care and public safety. In fact, these myths are rarely rooted in actual HIPAA regulation. HIPAA not only does not create a significant barrier to cross-system collaboration, it provides tools that communities should use in structuring information sharing agreements.
HHS provides guidance on how the HIPAA Privacy Rule operates to protect individuals' privacy rights with respect to their mental health information and in what circumstances the Privacy Rule permits health care providers to communicate with patients' family members and others to enhance treatment and assure safety.
In this March, 2015 SEARCH White paper, the author shows how information sharing supports justice report in five ways: making better decisions, ensuring accountability, providing efficient services, understand and investing in what works and building on what exists.
Released by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, this guide discusses HIPAA and privacy regulations' effects on exchanges between criminal justice and health professionals with the goal of reducing criminal justice involvement among people with mental illnesses. It includes answers to frequently asked questions such as when protected health information can be released and received.
This brief documents talks about the legal aspects of sharing information to improve access to treatment and the safeguards that are established to shield sensitive health information from unwarranted disclosures.
Venango County has developed policy and procedures regarding the exchange of information between first responders and the Venango County Mental Health System, developed in consultation with John Petrila, JD of the Florida Mental Health Institute, one of the foremost national authorities on legal issues around information sharing between law enforcement and behavioral health services.