FROM MY FILES FRIDAY – This blog post, which I published last year, led to Pat Milam being invited to testify before a congressional subcommittee about the difficulties that families face when trying to help a loved one who has a mental disorder. I’m happy to report that Pat has continued with his advocacy since that hearing in a tireless effort to turn a spotlight on the Health Insurance and Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) and how some doctors use it avoid talking to family members. Partly because of Pat, Rep. Tim Murphy held a community meeting in Pittsburg to further examine HIPAA. At that hearing, Charles and Debi Mahoney described the suicide death of their college age son, Chuck. They said HIPAA kept school officials from telling them information that might have helped save Chuck’s life.
What’s your take on HIPAA? Does it do more harm than good? Should there be an exemption when the patient has a mental disorder? Is it important to protecting the privacy of someone with a mental disorder? Good or bad — please share your story with us.
And thanks Republican Rep. Murphy for continuing to hold hearings about our troubled mental health care system.
A FATHER GRIEVES, NO ONE LISTENED TO THE PARENTS
Pat Milam knows what it is like to bury a child. But it was not a gunman who murdered his son in October 2011. It was America’s failed mental health system, the still-grieving father says.