When does mental illness or another mental condition constitute incapacity under the Privacy Rule? For example, what if a patient who is experiencing temporary psychosis or is intoxicated does not have the capacity to agree or object to a health care provider sharing information with a family member, but the provider believes the disclosure is in the patient’s best interests?
If an adult patient who may pose a danger to self stops coming to psychotherapy sessions and does not respond to attempts to make contact, does HIPAA permit the therapist to contact a family member to check on the patient's well-being even if the patient has told the therapist that they do not want information shared with that person?
Does HIPAA permit health care providers to share protected health information (PHI) about an individual with mental illness with a third party that is not a health care provider for continuity of care purposes? For example, can a health care provider refer a homeless patient to a social services agency, such as a housing provider, when doing so may reveal that the basis for eligibility is related to mental health?