Our staff cannot provide any information about a patient without the patient's consent. Federal and state laws specifically prohibit hospitals from releasing any information about patients who are being treated for mental health issues. This includes acknowledging, even in response to specific inquiries, that a patient is being treated in a facility if doing so would identify the patient as being the recipient of these services.
In addition, to restrictions on the release of individual health information imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and Missouri physician-patient privilege law, Missouri statutes contain a specific confidentiality provision concerning mental health facilities, Section 630.140, RSMo, which applies to patients of the Missouri Psychiatric Center. Under Section 630.140, representatives of MUPC and MU Health Care cannot provide information on MUPC patients (including the fact of their admission on a voluntary or involuntary basis) to the media or members of the public without an authorization from the patient.
A patient's personal health information can be used to:
- Plan treatment and services. This includes releasing information to qualified professionals who work at our facility and are involved in the patient's care or treatment. It may also include provider agencies that we pay to provide services for the patient.
- Submit bills to the patient's insurance company, Medicare, Medicaid or third-party payers.
- Obtain approval in advance from the patient's insurance company.
- Measure the quality of our services.
MUPC has the right to use the patient's personal health information:
- To exchange information with other state agencies as required by law.
- To treat the patient in an emergency.
- To treat the patient when there is something that prevents us from communicating with the patient.
- To send the patient appointment reminders.
- To inform the patient about possible treatment options.
- For agencies involved in a disaster situation.
- For certain types of research.
- When there is a serious public health threat to the patient or others.
- As required by state, federal or local law. This includes investigations, audits, inspections and licensure.
- When ordered to do so by a court.
- To communicate with law enforcement if the patient is the victim of a crime, involved in a crime at our facility or the patient has threatened to commit a crime.
- To communicate with coroners, medical examiners and funeral homes when necessary for them to do their jobs..
- To communicate with federal officials involved in security activities authorized by law.
- To communicate with a correctional facility if the patient is an inmate.