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Mental Health Providers and the HIPAA Privacy Rule

Mental Health Providers and the HIPAA Privacy Rule

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule provides patients and clients with important privacy rights and protections with respect to their health information. This also includes protection and guidelines in controls over how their health information is used and disclosed by health care providers.

 

Strong privacy protections are especially important when it comes to patients’ health information. A big part of healthcare services is the assurance of patient confidentiality. Mental health providers are no different. Therefore, different IT services are interjected in mental health facilities’ information systems. HIPAA covers both IT and non-IT related compliance. These article focuses on IT services and as it relates to HIPAA. HIPAA IT requirements focus on:

 
  • Protecting patient’s personal information
  • How the information is disclosed/shared
  • How confidential information is stored.
  • How information is accessed and who is authorized to access
  • Electronic transfer of information
  • PC/Mobile device encryption and access
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery
  • Network security – both from outside as well as inside
  • Network segmentation and user access
  • Electronic data destruction
  • And covers other related electronic data requirements that pertains to incoming data, at rest data and outgoing data.
 

At the same time, the HIPAA Privacy Rule recognizes situations where health information may need to be shared to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment and guard the health and safety of other patients as well. The Privacy Rule is carefully balanced to allow uses and disclosures of information regarding the patient.

 

HIPAA allows a mental health care provider to communicate with a patient’s family, friends, or other persons who are integrally involved in the patient’s care. This is allowed so long as the patient does not object. In any case, privacy will always be maintained and big firms or facilities, such as mental health providers, use intricate yet necessary IT products like those offered by our IT solutions in Moreno Valley, California.

 

As an IT services management provider, we know the value of privacy very well. Its importance revolves around the basic ideals of personhood such as personal autonomy, individuality, respect, dignity, and human worth.

 

So, if you run a mental health provider or clinic, be sure to be HIPAA compliant. To achieve this, call Advise IT Solutions today. We offer reliable managed IT services in Riverside, California, and can help you with HIPAA.

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