The challenges related to the electronic exchange of behavioral health data is a “vexing” problem, given the legal and technical complexities associated with the privacy and security of that data, says Micky Tripathi, president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative.

Behavioral health data requires additional protections beyond HIPAA, including adherence to 42 CFR Part 2, a portion of federal law that limits the disclosure of identifiable information by a federally-assisted substance abuse treatment program to any entity, even for treatment, without signed consent from the patient to authorize the disclosure, with limited exceptions. It also restricts the re-disclosure of that data by the receiving entity for any purpose without consent.

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