What if the client wants me to be able to talk to other programs/people/agencies?

Best practices mean coordinating care with all of a client’s providers, as well as other agencies and persons the client is working with. However, due to privacy rules, there are some limitations on what a provider can share with these entities. This is all based on the client’s preferences. The client can consent to you sharing treatment information. This is generally known as a Release of Information or an Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information. Historically, each entity you want to exchange information with requires a separate Release of Information/Authorization to Disclose Information. This is still the case when you’re exchanging information with an agency or person that doesn’t have access to your county’s instance of SmartCare. However, CalMHSA has created a disclosure authorization that encompasses all persons and agencies who have access to your county’s instance of SmartCare. If signed, this allows county programs to better coordinate care for the client.

Note that this Coordinated Care Consent only authorizes the exchange of information within your county’s instance of SmartCare. Other counties using SmartCare are not included in this authorization, nor are agencies who also use their own instance of SmartCare. This consent also does not authorize the exchange of information with all providers or agencies the client is working with. Standard Releases of Information/Authorizations to Disclose Information are needed in these cases.

Redisclosure: Just because you have access to 42 CFR information because the client signed the Coordinated Care Consent does NOT give you permission to redisclose information from SUD programs.