This article focuses on the issue of confidentiality, discussing why it is central to therapy and describing various exceptions to confidentiality laws. Arguments in favor of more consistency among different states, such as a federal confidentiality law are offered.
Please Note: Many have found this course material very helpful, but it does lack newer information on HIPAA. Readers are encouraged to study HIPPA requirements and integrate it with information in this course.
This course is based on the reading-based online article, Confidentiality of Mental Health Information: Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues created by Surgeon General of the United States
Course Material Author
Surgeon General of the United States
Chapter 7 of Surgeon General Report
Surgeon General of the United States authored the material only, and was not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.
This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about mental health ethical issues. It is appropriate for all levels of participants' knowledge.
After taking this course, you should be able to:
to discuss the principles that underlie patient confidentiality
to state exceptions to patient confidentiality
to describe how information technology and managed care have impacted on confidentiality
Disclosure to Learners
Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships
CE Learning Systems adheres to the ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited
Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity –
including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others ― are required to disclose all relevant financial
relationships with ineligible entities (formerly known as commercial interests).
The following relevant financial relationships have been disclosed by this activity's planners, faculty, and
Planners and Reviewers
The planners of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.
Faculty: Keith Gibson, Ph.D.
There are no relevant disclosures.
There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.
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