SECTION 1. Chapter 6D of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended after Section 19 by adding the following new section: -
Section 20. The purpose of this section shall be to ensure that public and private agencies, departments, corporations, provider organizations and licensed professionals receive mental health and substance use disorder information to utilize for treatment.
The health policy commission, in consultation with the executive office of health and human services and the division of insurance, shall develop a standard release form for exchanging confidential mental health and substance use disorder information that shall be used by all public and private agencies, departments, corporations, provider organizations and licensed professionals involved with the treatment of an individual experiencing mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, or substance use disorder.
All parties described in this subsection shall be required to use and accept the standard release form created by the commission under this section for the purpose for which it was created.
The commission shall comply with all federal and state laws relating to the protection of individually identifiable health information and shall consider the following:
(a) Existing and potential technologies that could be used to securely transmit a standard release form;
(b) The national standards pertaining to electronic release of confidential information, including protecting a patient’s identity and privacy in accordance with the health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996;
(c) Any prior release forms and methodologies used in this Commonwealth; and
(d) Any prior release forms and methodologies developed by federal agencies.
The standard release form shall be available in both electronic and paper form.
The commission shall convene an advisory group to advise the commission on the implementation of this section. The advisory group shall include the following fourteen members: the director of the health policy commission or designee, who shall serve as chair, the secretary of health and human services or designee, the director of the office of Medicaid or designee, the commissioner of the division of insurance or designee, and representation from the following seven organizations, the Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Health Law Advocates, Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, NAMI Massachusetts, Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, the Massachusetts Bar Association Health Law Council and the Parent Professional Advocacy League. The Governor shall also appoint one committee member from a Massachusetts-based electronic health record vendor who specializes in behavioral health care.
The commission shall complete all obligations under this section within six months of enactment of this section.
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