HIPAA Issues in Mental and Behavioral Health

Duration: 90 Minutes
Instructor: Jonathan P. Tomes
Webinar Id: 800313


One Attendee


Without the proper legal awareness needed to stay in compliance, you may face grave legal and financial consequences. This webinar will help alleviate confusion by providing an overview of HIPAA and the Security and Privacy Rules and the changes that the HITECH Act caused, especially regarding civil and criminal penalties for violating HIPAA. Learn how and when HIPAA preempts (does away with) state law and the exceptions to preemption, and what other laws preempt HIPAA, such as 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part II's added protection for substance abuse treatment information.

Gain insight on the Security Rule issues for mental and behavioral health practitioners in terms of the five categories of security requirements: general provisions, administrative safeguards, physical safeguards, technical safeguards, and documentation requirements. Understand the privacy rights of clients under HIPAA, specifically the individual's right of access to protected health information ("PHI"), the individual's right to an accounting of uses and disclosures of PHI, the individual's right to notice of information practices, the individual's right to request restriction of uses and disclosures of PHI, and the individual's right to request correction/amendment of PHI.

The information presented is valuable legal and practical information on how to comply with the laws and regulations that haunt your daily duties. Social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, addiction professionals, case managers, health care administrators, privacy officers, security officers, CFO's and risk managers will acquire useful knowledge and solutions to your compliance nightmares and fears of ethics violations, litigation, depositions, and court room testimony. This program will boost your confidence in all of these areas and help you continue to provide "top shelf" care, treatment and advice to your clients. Focus your energies where they count the most and gain the expertise you need to meet the requirements of HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and Omnibus Rule change. Become and remain confident that your Mental and Behavioral health care practice is on the right track.

Why should you attend: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") and its implementing Department of Health and Human Services ("DHHS") regulations, primarily the Security Rule and the Privacy Rule, however, greatly complicate many important issues, such as whether a clinician could release a second opinion by another clinician to the client under the client's HIPAA right of access or whether HIPAA's narrow exception to disclosure to the client if the disclosure would be reasonably likely to result in death or serious injury would prohibit the disclosure if it would impair the therapeutic relationship.

Much of this type of confusion comes from HIPAA's preemption standard. HIPAA preempts (does away with) other state or federal law that is inconsistent with HIPAA unless, among other grounds, the state or federal law provides more privacy protection. One of the problems, for example, is figuring out whether a state law saying that a psychologist may not release a third-party document to the patient provides more or less privacy protection.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Group therapy
  • Disclosure to law enforcement and others when the client presents a danger to him or herself or others including interaction with the Tarasoff duty to warn
  • Denying client chart access
  • What to do if your client's records contain information about other family members
  • Whether you can discuss a client's case with another clinician without a signed consent
  • When you must disclose psychotherapy notes
  • May you release copyright protected raw test data?
  • Questions and answers

Who Will Benefit:
  • HIPAA Compliance Officers
  • HIPAA Security Officers
  • HIPAA Privacy Officers
  • CEOs, COOs, CIOs
  • Human Resources Directors
  • Medical Records Personnel
  • Psychologists, Psychiatrists
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Practitioners

Speaker Profile
Jonathan P. Tomes , J.D., is a health care attorney and partner in the law firm of TOMES & DVORAK, CHARTERED. He has written more than 50 books, including The Compliance Guide to HIPAA and the DHHS Regulations, and dozens of articles in the area of HIPAA compliance.

He has been an expert witness in litigation involving health information compliance issues and is the President of EMR Legal, Inc., a national HIPAA consulting firm. His knowledge of the law and of the practical aspects of setting up a security system provides a rare opportunity for compliance officers and medical records veterans and novices alike. Mr. Tomes has presented seminars nationally for 20 years.

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