Last updated June 17, 2015
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Contents

NASW Law Note

Client Confidentiality and Privileged Communications

Introduction

Confidentiality Requirements

  • Scope of Confidentiality
  • Obtaining Client Consent

Situations Requiring or Permitting Disclosure of a Patient’s Confidential Information

  • HIPAA Exceptions to Confidentiality
  • Duty to Control or Warn about a Dangerous Patient
  • Past Criminal Acts
  • Child Abuse or Neglect
  • Preventing Harm to the Client
  • HIV Reporting
  • Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation Programs Receiving Federal Funds

Privilege and the Release of Client Information in Legal Proceedings

  • Federal Treatment of Privilege
  • The Dangerous Patient Exception
  • State Treatment of Privilege

Conclusion

Appendix A: NASW Code of Ethics: 1.07 Privacy and Confidentiality

Appendix B: Review of SAMHSA’s Frequently Asked Questions: Applying the Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations to Health Information Exchange

Appendix C: Social Worker—Client Privilege and Confidentiality Laws

Appendix D: Bibliography

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