Information Related to Mental and Behavioral Health, including Opioid Overdose
At times, health care providers need to share mental and behavioral health information to enhance patient treatment and to ensure the health and safety of the patient or others. Parents, friends, and other caregivers of individuals with a mental health condition or substance use disorder play an important role in supporting the patient’s treatment, care coordination, and recovery.
The HIPAA Rules are designed to protect the privacy of all of an individuals’ identifiable health information and to ensure that health information is available when needed for treatment and other appropriate purposes. Given the sensitive nature of mental health and substance use disorder treatment information, OCR is providing this guidance addressing HIPAA protections, the obligations of covered health care providers, and the circumstances in which covered providers can share information—as applied to this context.
This page is intended to be a one-stop resource for guidance and other materials on how HIPAA applies to mental health and substance use disorder information. It will be periodically updated with additional information