I just want to make pple aware of these laws. I've had personal experience dealing with them and they really need to be in the back of people's minds and enforced.
HIPAA = Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The purpose of these laws is to protect the patient regarding confidentiality between personal and health information. An example is, I see a psychiatrist. I don't want family members to know of certain information that I've told him. These HIPAA Laws protect me from that. I've had a psychiatrist who's broken these laws, talked to a family member about things I'd said. Someone told me about these laws and when I mentioned them, he got very nervous. He knew what he had done.
There are exceptions, and they can be with the patient signing a paper agreeing to sign over the rights so the information can be disclosed. Another exception is when the patient has no control over anything and there needs to be no paper signed in order to disclose any information. Mental Ilness records are treated differently from other rules. There are additional safety nets for mental illness, such as being admitted to ie a hospital ... people going to the place have the option to be treated, or admitted and/or excluded from the hospital's patient list (being completely anonymous).
If you google HIPAA Laws, there are many sites that come up explaining this in more detail.