You’ve Been Served: A Mental Health Provider’s Guide to Records Requests

You’ve Been Served: A Mental Health Provider’s Guide to Records Requests

Mental health providers engage with highly confidential health information on a daily basis. From our experience, psychiatrists and therapists also tend to be sensitive to the information in their patient records and very HIPAA-literate.  For these reasons, a police request or court order for patient records can be stressful and confusing. Who has the right...

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“Don’t Tell My Mom”: A Guide to HIPAA Compliance for Minor Patients

“Don’t Tell My Mom”: A Guide to HIPAA Compliance for Minor Patients

As a healthcare provider, when a minor patient approaches you and pleads, “Don’t tell my mom,” abiding by your patient’s wishes is anything but simple. In fact, HIPAA offers no protection to minors and requires healthcare providers to release a minor patient’s medical records to the child’s parent or guardian when requested. This guide to...

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Pets on planes, service dogs & emotional support animals: Erin Jackson unpacks the differences for URBO

Pets on planes, service dogs & emotional support animals: Erin Jackson unpacks the differences for URBO

Attorney Erin Jackson was recently interviewed by URBO about the distinctions between pets, service dogs, and emotional support animals. As airlines’ pet-related mishaps continue to make the news, some are considering alternative ways to get Fido to their destination. What are the differences between pets and support or service dogs, and what are the consequences of masquerading...

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3 Things Mental Health Providers Should Know about Reporting Threats of Harm

3 Things Mental Health Providers Should Know about Reporting Threats of Harm

Responding to a threat of harm can require quick action, so it’s best to consider this issue when it is not an emergent question facing your practice.  Because the repercussions of reports can be unpredictable, the decision as to how to handle a threat of harm can be challenging.  The Tarasoff doctrine simultaneously recognizes mental health professionals’ duty to uphold their patients’ confidentiality and their duty to take action when a potential victim is at...

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Why Private Practice Social Workers Need a Written Privacy Policy

Why Private Practice Social Workers Need a Written Privacy Policy

Recently, I asked a private practice LCSW whether she had HIPAA procedures in place. Her response? “I am my HIPAA procedure!” If only it were that...

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