Avoiding Liability Bulletin – April 2005

… The general rule is that therapists and counselors do not release patient information unless required or permitted by law to do so or unless specifically authorized by the patient in writing and signed by the patient. Oral authorizations are usually not valid. Some states specifically delineate the content of such forms. Does your state specify required contents for health practitioners? HIPAA regulations, for those who are “covered providers,” specify the core elements and the required statements that must be contained in an authorization form. One of the items that should be included but is not mentioned in the regulation is a statement advising the person signing the authorization of the right to receive a copy of the authorization. See http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa for more information on HIPAA.

Download PDF
CPH Insurance

Protect yourself with CPH Insurance.

Get a quote & apply online.

About the Author

Avatar photo

Richard Leslie

Richard S. Leslie is an attorney and acknowledged expert on the interrelationship between law and the practice of marriage and family therapy and psychotherapy. Most recently, he was a consultant to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and has written articles regarding legal and ethical issues for their Family Therapy Magazine. Prior to his work with AAMFT, Richard was Legal Counsel to the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) for approximately twenty-two years. While there, he also served as their director of Government Relations and tirelessly advocated for due process and fairness for licensees and applicants.

Learn more about Richard Leslie