HIPAA

Drug Court

HIPAA

Case Year: 
2002

Despite conventional wisdom and practice, the provisions of HIPAA do not apply to drug courts, law enforcement, or probation officers.  “Contrary to myth, HIPAA-covered entities do not include the courts, court personnel, accrediting agencies such as the JCAHO, and law enforcement. (Petrila, J (2007): CMHS National GAINS Center for Systemic Change for Justice, Dispelling the Myths about Information Sharing between the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems.)  HIPAA also does not apply to correctional facilities or law enforcement having lawful custody of an inmate or detainee if the protected health information (PHI) is necessary to provide health care to the individual; to protect the individual, other inmates, security officers or employees; or for the administration, maintenance of safety and security of the facility including law enforcement.  HIPAA does protect certain PHI from disclosure to criminal justice agencies without proper authorization/release from the patient. (Marlowe, DB & Meyer, WG (2011) The Drug Court Judicial Benchbook,  National Drug Court Institute, Alexandria, VA at pg. 183)