Privacy for Patients with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Webinar
Clarifying laws and regulations, what you can and can’t disclose, breach reporting

Webinar Recorded Live on September 11, 2014


Health care providers are often afraid to share patient information — even when doing so would be good for the patient and perfectly legal. Not being comfortable with the rules, they hold back. Sometimes that’s not in the best interest of the patient — especially patients with mental health or substance use disorders who often need extra support.

This webinar explained when it’s appropriate to share information to benefit the patient and remain compliant with the laws governing patient privacy. Privacy experts discussed common situations health care providers face day in and day out, and clarified what can and can’t be said to other providers, payers, family and friends.

Recommended for

Privacy officers, compliance officers, behavioral health administrators and directors, substance use program directors, chief nursing officers, emergency department directors, risk managers.


Privacy laws protecting patients with mental health issues

  • CMIA, LPS, federal substance abuse regulations, HIPAA, psychotherapy notes
  • What law applies to which patient records — CMIA or LPS?
  • What about minors? Which laws apply

New Medi-Cal benefit for substance use disorders

  • New benefit for inpatient detox in general acute care hospitals
  • Federal privacy regulations apply to records created by specially trained staff

Disclosures under each law

  • What you can share with other providers for treatment purposes
  • What you can say to family and friends
  • What information can be shared between providers and payers
  • Reporting dangerous patients — what you can say, Tarasoff, child abuse
  • Responding to subpoenas — when and if you need a court order

When a breach happens

  • Before reporting — three breach reporting laws to consider
  • Impact of new court decisions on reporting — relief on two fronts

Frontline, practical tips

  • Unsure about which law applies? Check the chart
  • Case scenario challenges — testing your knowledge


Lois Richardson is vice president of privacy and legal publications/education at the California Hospital Association (CHA). Ms. Richardson is responsible for all privacy related issues at CHA and for the development, writing and editing of CHA’s legal publications. Her noteworthy publications include the highly-regarded Consent Manual and Patient Privacy Manual. Ms. Richardson also was responsible for recent California Health Information Privacy Manual, which addresses both state and federal laws regarding the use and disclosure of health information. Additionally, she is the executive director for the California Society for Healthcare Attorneys.

Jana Aagaard is an attorney specializing in health care law with a focus in health information privacy and technology, and clinical research. Since 2002, she has worked for Dignity Health, the largest nonprofit health system in the western United States, with 40 hospitals in California, Arizona and Nevada. At Dignity, Ms. Aagaard is responsible for privacy issues including health information exchange, the federal “Meaningful Use Incentives” program and emerging technologies.

Sheree Kruckenberg, MPA, is vice president of Behavioral Health for CHA. In this role, she serves as primary legislative advocate for acute care hospitals serving individuals with mental health and substance use disorders and monitors federal and state regulatory and legislative activities that impact general acute care hospitals. Prior to joining CHA, Ms. Kruckenberg served ten years as director of developmental services with the California Association of Health Facilities. She is a frequent consultant and lecturer on health care issues and has coordinated nationwide trainings on federal regulations with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.