14-193 C.M.R. ch. 7, § B - DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION Permitted Disclosure by Licensed Mental Health Professional

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

(1) Authorized Release. A client may give authorization for the release of information that is otherwise confidential upon properly executing written authorization for release of information in accordance with 34-B M.R.S.A.1207(l)(A); or by executing a declaration in accordance with 34-B M.R.S.A.11001 and including in it a provision for the release of information to designated persons, providing the contingencies that make the declaration operative have occurred.
(2) Disclosure Request. A family member of a client or other person may request release of confidential information pertaining to a client that is maintained by agencies licensed, funded or operated by the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, if a family member or other person lives with or provides direct care to the client. The request must be made in writing and include the following information:
a. The client's name and information such as birth date or social security number, to assure proper identification of the client,
b. The requester's name, address and telephone number,
c. The individuals relationship to the client;
d. Whether the person lives with the client and, if so, a description of the arrangement;
e. A description of the direct care the person provides to the client;
f. The reason for requesting the information, including why the individual making the request believes it would be in the client's best interest;
g. The information requested, which may not include information beyond that listed in section B.4.; and
h. A description of the significant deterioration the person believes the client would suffer if the information is not provided.
(3) Client Notification. Upon receipt of the written request, the agency shall direct the request to a licensed mental health professional in its employ who works with the client either directly or in a supervisory capacity. The licensed mental health professional shall then provide a copy of the request to the client within 2 work days, ask whether he or she consents to the disclosure and shall advise the client of other means by which the information may be disclosed.
(4) Client Consent to Request. If the client gives written consent to the disclosure, the licensed mental health professional may disclose information as requested, but shall not include information beyond the following:
a. The client's diagnosis;
b. The names of any medications prescribed, the side effects of such medication and the likely consequences of the client's failure to take the medication as prescribed;
c. The client's treatment plan and goals that relate to the assistance the person provides;
d. Behavioral management strategies that might involve the family member or other person;
e. Whether the client is currently in a treatment facility, or whether such admission is anticipated in the near future;
f. If the client is currently in a treatment facility, the expected discharge date; and
g. If the client has recently been discharged from a treatment facility, the date of discharge.

The disclosure shall not include written copies of documents from the client's record, but may be given orally or in a writing generated as a response to the request.

(5) Authorized Disclosure. The authorization or disclosure of information authorized under these rules is not a continuing authorization. Further disclosures may be made only with a renewed request or upon compliance with section B.1. above and with the provisions of law referenced therein.
(6) Notice of Denied Consent. If the client does not give written consent, the licensed mental health professional shall give written notice to the person requesting the disclosure that the requested information may not be released. The notice shall also inform the person of the right to appeal the denial of release of information to the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, that the appeal must be filed within 10 work days and that, in order to facilitate speedy processing, the appeal should include a copy of the original request for information. The notice shall include the Commissioner's address and a copy of the original request. A copy of the notice shall be mailed or hand delivered to the client.
(7) Documentation in Client File. If the client does not give written consent to the release, the licensed mental health professional shall indicate in writing for entry in the client's file:
a. Whether he or she believes that disclosure is in the best interest of the client and a stated basis for the belief;
b. Whether he or she believes that the client would suffer significant deterioration if the disclosure were not made, a description of the deterioration and a stated basis for the belief; and
c. Whether the mental health professional believes that disclosure would cause an imminent risk of serious physical harm to the client and, if so, the basis for the belief
(8) Processing of Written Request. The mental health professional must process the request for information within 5 working days of receipt of the written request, or within 5 working days thereafter, if the person requesting the information agrees to the extension.
(9) Format of Request For purposes of complying with the provisions of these rules, licensed mental health professionals may provide copies of the attached form to family members and other persons for their use. Any request that complies with the requirements as set out above, however, shall be treated as a valid request and use of the form shall not be required. Licensed mental health professionals may use copies of the attached form in meeting their obligations under these rules.


14-193 C.M.R. ch. 7, § B

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