[ Friday, February 15, 2013 ]


Mental Health and HIPAA: Balance.  I always say that the problem with privacy advocates is that absolute privacy is a bad thing, and prevents necessary health and safety from happening.  Take mental health records.  That's obviously a very sensitive area of medical records.  Mental health records should be kept private.  But what about where the disclosure of mental health records might save lives?  Newtown, the Batman theater shooting, Virginia Tech, perhaps even Ft. Hood might have been prevented if the right person knew the perpetrator's mental health records.  That specific issue has been raised by some Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who have sent a letter to the Secretary of HHS asking how HIPAA impacts the abilty to get information into the background check system used to screen gun purchasers.  "Required by law" should cover it, but is that enough to overcome the inclination toward privacy in every case?

Jeff [4:52 PM]

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