Discussion Prompts

HIPAA, together with regulations circulated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), establishes federal standards for the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI), including mental health information. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and its Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provisions are relevant to human services professional workers because they slightly change enforcement and penalties.
Imagine that you are a probation officer for a patient in a substance-abuse treatment facility and you have been asked to attend a treatment session with a client. This patient is on parole, and has been since the time of admission to the facility. After reading the document titled “Information Sharing in Criminal Justice – Mental Health Collaborations: Working With HIPAA and Other Privacy Laws” from the Reading and Resources section, address the following in your initial post:
During a treatment team meeting, the client discloses that he used an illegal substance while on probation (and the probation indicates that use of drugs while on probation is a violation). Discuss how you, as the probation officer, can or cannot share this information with the treatment team, and explain the reasons why or why not.
Identify at least one circumstance in which you, the probation officer, would need court approval to share PHI with the substance-abuse treatment team. Explain how this would be done. When responding to classmates, engage others about their ideas and how they may be different from your own.

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