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Summary of Washington State Privacy Regulations 

Prepared by Laura Groshong, WSCMHPC Lobbyist

Below please find a summary of Washington state privacy regulations. These are almost exactly the same as HIPAA privacy standards but were not well known to most clinicians until HIPAA raised consciousness of the need to know our state standards. More information on being HIPAA compliant can be found at the Clinical Social Work Federation website, www.cswf.org .

1. Disclosure of Records to Patient – in 15 days unless HC provider determines will 
be “injurious to health of patient”, information for legislative purposes only, will 
endanger self or others, or confidentiality of others will be compromised.

2. Right to Amend – written request to change records within 10 days record must be changed or add patient “statement of disagreement” to record.

3. Disclosure Statement of Clinician (similar to NPP) – required for registered counselors and licensed master’s level clinicians. Must include clinician’s privacy practices in addition to other information about clinical administrative practices and theoretical base.

4. Authorization – no release of patient information without written authorization by patient - must include what information is being disclosed, person or institution receiving information, and who is disclosing information.

5. Authorization Exceptions (non-insurance) – other former or current clinicians or health care providers who have treated patient, quality assurance, peer review, administrative purposes, health care education, mandatory reporting, disclosures to family members unless patient prohibits in writing, research, audits, law enforcement purposes, coroners, for public health purposes.

6. Maintain Records – clinician must maintain records for seven years following authorization to disclose.

7. Insurers – same standards as clinicians under 70.02

8. HIPAA – minimum necessary information, training of employees, identify anyone authorized to receive information without authorization

9. Marketing – no marketing of identifiable information without authorization

10. Privilege – for psychologists, psychiatrists and ARNPs, not LICSWs, LMFTs, or LMHCs

Washington State Coalition of Mental Health Professionals & Consumers
Mailing Address:  P. O. Box 30087  Seattle, WA 98113   Phone:  206-444-4304