In the event of releasing any patient information it is important to make sure that all of your T’s are crossed and your I’s are dotted before the transaction is complete. However, because specialized patient records, such as behavioral health or substance abuse cases, contain not only strictly medical information, but also therapeutic mental and emotional information, the release of this kind of information could cause some damage (McWay, 2010, p. 227). This is why the release of information concerning these patient records in them. For purposes of this assignment this paper will only be covering the release of information in a behavioral health case.
Protected health information or PHI is any identifying information that is related to a person such as a name or an address. According to HIPAA “the disclosure of PHI is prohibited, except when the patient has signed a release of information form that authorizes PHI to be released or disclosed to a specific party (Sheahan)”. With the release of information there are different rules that need to be fallowed in order to protect the patient’s privacy.
A patient’s medical record is property of the hospital or the facility that created the record. However, the information contained in the record is property of the patient, and a copy of the record (with a behavioral health case) can be released to the patient as long as he/she is at least twelve years old. A patient who is at least twelve years old also has the authority to consent to the disclosure to release information to a third party. The release of a health record, with a behavioral health issue, can also be granted to the patient’s parent or legal guardian as long as the patient is under the age of twelve years old. If a child is between the ages of twelve and eighteen then there are other rules that the facility must fallow (Gordon, 2000).
If a patient is between the ages of twelve and eighteen then the health facility must inform the patient, receive a no objection to the disclosure, and the patient’s therapist must also find no convincing reason for denying the parent or guardian access to the patient record. The parent or guardian may also consent to the disclosure of the minor patient’s records, subject to the rules mentioned above. Behavior health information can also be released to a patient’s attorney or his/her guardian ad litem pursuant to court order (Gordon, 2000). If a patient has a durable power of attorney for health care and the durable power of attorney for health care specifically authorizes access to mental health information, then the information can be released to the patient’s power of attorney. However without the authorization of access to mental health information, the records cannot be released (Gordon, 2000). Release of records with behavior health information is different to that of a general record and...