Pennsylvania Governor Signs into Law Bill Aligning State and Federal Mental Health Privacy Standards

On July 7, 2022, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 32 of 2022, which amends the state Mental Health Procedures Act (MHPA) to align with federal health privacy standards to permit providers, facilities, and health plans to share patient mental health and substance use disorder-related information more easily. The amendments meet existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements to ensure patient confidentiality. Act 32 of 2022 utilizes terminology and requirements that are already familiar to providers to create a consistent standard and revise outdated regulations to provide consistency between statutory and regulatory language and their intended requirements. The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is currently reviewing Act 32 of 2022 and the Chapter 5100 regulations to determine the next steps and will provide additional information and details via the OMHSAS Listservs.