Friday, December 08, 2006

Navigating federal privacy laws to help a loved one

Both family members and mental health care providers conservatively interpret confidentiality laws like HIPAA.

This means mental health providers often do not share information with relatives because they think sharing violates confidentiality laws. And family members often do not ask for information, because they do not think they have the right to be informed.

Knowing the law may help family members convince providers to share vital information about their relatives. Read our overview of HIPAA , which includes some creative legal ways to share needed information.