Privacy Issues in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment: Information Sharing Between Providers and Managed Care Organizations: Final Report. Conclusion

01/17/2003

This literature review demonstrates that the need of patients for confidentiality of their personal health information conflicts with the need of managed care firms to ensure that the services they are paying for are appropriate. Although a few models and guidelines have been proposed to resolve these conflicts, there is a clear need for a stronger consensus on what health information is minimally necessary for payers to authorize treatment and otherwise manage care and how that information can best be handled to protect the privacy and dignity of mental health and substance abuse patients.

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