Passing on information I received in case you are interested in participating.
The federal government is requesting information from the public regarding potential changes to the federal privacy rules outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
As you know, providers and facilities are sometimes reluctant to share critical health information with loved ones of people with mental illness for fear of violating HIPAA. The fact that the federal government is seeking a greater understanding of the problem and potential solutions from the public represents a huge opportunity.
You can help! Together, we can ensure the government understands the problems families face from burdensome HIPAA restrictions. We urge you to submit a comment online that explains how HIPAA has impacted your ability to help your loved one. Comment must be received by midnight on February 11, 2019.
Submitting a comment is not as complicated as it may seem. In fact, it is a straightforward way to directly engage policymakers. And a well-supported comment can carry more weight than a thousand form letters.
The official request for information can be found here. The document covers multiple HIPAA issues, however, the key section is just one page long: seesection b. “Promoting Parental and Caregiver Involvement and Addressing the Opioid Crisis and Serious Mental Illness.” Specifically, see Question 23.
Comments may be short or long, and may be uploaded either as a Word document or as a pdf. One can also cut and paste them directly onto the site. Regardless, it is worth taking the time to compose your thoughts before starting the submission process.
Again, please focus on the provision asking for information on HIPAA and serious mental illness, and do not feel shy about expressing your passion.Once you’re ready, just go here to submit.
Director of Advocacy