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Library: Policy

340:2-8-8. Disclosures to friends and relatives

Revised 9-16-19

(a) When the client is informed in advance and given the opportunity to agree or to refuse or restrict the disclosure of protected health information (PHI), Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) staff may disclose PHI to the client's friends and relatives to the extent the client allows.The disclosure must only reveal PHI that directly relates to such person's involvement with the client's care or payment for such care.

(b) When the client is not present, or the opportunity to object to the disclosure cannot practicably be provided due to the client's incapacity or an emergency situation DHS staff determines, using professional judgment, if the disclosure is in the client's best interest.When disclosure is in the client's best interest, the minimum necessary disclosure may be made.When disclosure is not in the client's best interest, no disclosure is made.

(c) Verbal permission to disclose PHI to friends and relatives is not sufficient when the client is referred to or receiving substance abuse treatment, mental health, or vocational rehabilitation services.Written authorization is required under those circumstances.
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