HHS Finalizes Rule Allowing Some Providers To Share Mental Health Information With FBI Database
On Monday, HHS finalized a rule allowing certain health care providers to disclose -- without consent -- the names of patients with mental health issues to the FBI's firearms background check database. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, launched in 1998 and is used by gun dealers to ensure they are not selling weapons to individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms, such as individuals with severe mental health issues and those convicted of felonies. The final rule modifies HIPAA to allow certain covered entities to disclose to the NICS the names of individuals who are barred from owning a firearm for mental health reasons.
- "Doctors Can Report Some Mentally Ill Patients to FBI Under New Gun Control Rule" (Pittman, Politico, 1/4).
- "HIPAA Change Permits Mental Health Reporting to Background Check System" (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 1/5).