Physicians often call the NORCAL Group Risk Management Department with questions about how to release behavioral health information to third parties, including family members, friends, and law enforcement. Additionally, many NORCAL Group claims involve the release of behavioral health information without appropriate authorization because physicians or staff did not understand the law, or released information due to carelessness. This article uses case studies based on NORCAL Group closed claims and calls made to the NORCAL Group Risk Management Department to introduce liability risk issues associated with behavioral health information sharing along with strategies and resources to manage risk.
This article includes healthcare ethics content, which may help meet CME credit ethics requirements in some states.
CASE ONE, TWO & THREE How Breach of Behavioral Health Information Confidentiality Becomes a Lawsuit
SPECIAL FEATURE Special Confidentiality Considerations
SPECIAL FEATURE Psychotherapy Notes Versus Protected Health Information
CASE FOUR Breaching Confidentiality Following a Threat of Harm to a Third Party
CASE FIVE Breaching Confidentiality When a Patient Threatens Self-Harm