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December 06, 2023 Snow | 30°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 172: Allied mental health and human service professionals; confidential communications; waiver

Section 172. Any communication between an allied mental health or human services professional and a client shall be deemed to be confidential. Said privilege shall be subject to waiver only in the following circumstances:

(a) where the allied mental health and human services professional is a party defendant to a civil, criminal or disciplinary action arising from such practice in which case the waiver shall be limited to that action;

(b) where the client is a defendant in a criminal proceeding and the use of the privilege would violate the defendant's right to compulsory process and right to present testimony and witnesses in his own behalf;

(c) when the communication reveals the contemplation or commission of a crime or a harmful act; and

(d) where a client agrees to the waiver, or in circumstances where more than one person in a family is receiving therapy, where each such family member agrees to the waiver.

The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent third party reimburser from inspecting and copying, in the ordinary course of determining eligibility for or entitlement to benefits, any and all records relating to diagnosis, treatment or other services provided to any person, including a minor or incompetent, for which coverage, benefit or reimbursement is claimed, so long as the policy or certificate under which the claim is made provides that such access to such records is permitted. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent access to any such records pursuant to any peer review or utilization review procedures applied and implemented in good faith.