Continuity and coordination of care between physical and behavioral health is an important aspect in the delivery of quality health care, as behavioral and medical disorders can interact to affect an individual’s health. Both physical and behavioral health care practitioners benefit from access to relevant medical records of mutually served members to ensure quality care for the member.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule permits use and disclosures for “treatment, payment and health care operations” as well as certain other disclosures without the individual’s prior written authorization. Disclosures not otherwise specifically permitted or required by the HIPAA Privacy Rule must have an authorization that meets certain requirements. With certain exceptions, the HIPAA Privacy Rule generally requires that uses and disclosures of PHI be the minimum necessary for the intended purpose of the use or disclosure.