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April 09, 2021

Transitioning of Behavioral Health Data Sharing and Information Exchange: A Structured Approach to Decision Making

This Briefing is brought to you by AHLA's Health Information and Technology Practice Group and Behavioral Health Task Force.
  • April 09, 2021
  • Michael Bossenbroek , Beaumont Health
  • Andrew Droke , Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC
  • Suzette Gordon , SCO Family of Services
  • Jena Grady , Nixon Peabody LLP
  • Leeann Habte , Best Best & Krieger LLP
  • Jennifer Lohse , Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Mental health and substance use disorders in the United States are being recognized as a growing public health crisis. The emergence of the opioid crisis combined with the COVID-19 public health emergency and the increase of overdose-related deaths has highlighted the necessity of data sharing to facilitate the provision of Substance Use Disorder treatment. Government entities and providers agree on the need for care coordination, which requires information sharing between and among diverse providers and substance use disorder, mental health, and health care treatment settings. In spite of the marked advances in sharing of physical health data through health information exchanges and the recent rules prohibiting information blocking, there have been numerous regulatory obstacles to the sharing of behavioral health data at both the federal and state level. This Briefing is intended to help navigate the maze of privacy laws—particularly where conflicting mandates lead to different compliance paths. It provides a summary of the federal and a sample of state privacy laws governing behavioral health information sharing and discusses how these different laws and regulations impact behavioral health information exchanges. This Briefing also discusses recent approaches and models for health information exchanges. In addition, this Briefing provides an analytical tool to assist attorneys in the analysis of behavioral health data sharing.

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