612 Confidentiality of Patient Information in Substance Use Disorders

The Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England , funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at Brown University Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies, is offering a credited, on-line course on confidentiality.

Individuals should be able to expect that information they have given in confidence to a treatment provider will be kept private unless there is a compelling reason for it not to be. The principle of a confidential relationship between a patient and a clinician is an ancient one, shared by many cultures. Nowhere is that expectation more vital than in substance abuse treatment. This course will introduce the learner to ethical and legal issues bearing on the confidentiality of patient information in substance abuse treatment. It will introduce the student to confidentiality provisions under the federal regulations on Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Treatment Records (42 CFR Part 2) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) as well as special concerns relating to child protection issues, underage patients, patients involved with the criminal justice system, and HIV infected patients. This course will serve to alert the student to concerns and provide a basic grasp of the issues but is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney or consultation with federal and state regulators.


David F. Duncan, Dr. P.H. is President of Duncan & Associates, a consulting firm providing consultation on research design and data collection for behavioral and policy studies. His education included an undergraduate major in psychology, with minors in sociology and education at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and graduate work in criminology at Sam Houston State University in Texas. He earned the degree of Doctor of Public Health from the University of Texas at Houston with an interdisciplinary program in behavioral sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, and program and policy evaluation. Dr. Duncan completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in alcohol treatment and early intervention research at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. He has over thirty year’s experience in the substance abuse field, including direct service provision and direction of treatment and rehabilitation services.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the three most common ways in which patient confidentiality is violated.
  • Describe who is covered by the confidentiality rules in 42 CFR and in HIPAA respectively.
  • Discuss the exceptions to confidentiality permitted under 42 CFR and under HIPAA.
  • Discuss reporting requirements in child abuse related cases and the “obligation to warn” under the Tarasoff decision.
  • Discuss the issues a patient’s HIV positive status may raise concerning confidentiality.

Course Requirements

This is a three-week course, beginning on April 30, 2012. Requirements are:

  • Required on-line reading (one hour per week)
  • Completion of pre and post test
  • Completion of weekly homework assignments (one hour per week)
  • Participation in the weekly course forum
  • Completion of an on-line course evaluation

*Please note that there are no real time events associated with this course. Lessons will be posted on the class home page on Tuesday and responses are due the following Monday. With the exception of the first weeks lesson which will be posted Monday with the responses due the following Monday. Assignments can be accessed at the participant’s convenience.

A full refund is available up until May 08, 2012 after which there will be no refunds.


$60.00 Certification

  • This three-week course, which begins on April 30, 2012, has been approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for 6 educational credits. It is being provided by the Brown Distance Learning program, which is accredited as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (#000151).
  • This course is approved by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for 6 Category 1 continuing education for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC’s). The CCB is an IC&RC affiliate.
  • The New York State OASAS does accept distance learning CEUs provided by institutions of higher learning for individuals pursuing or renewing a CASAC, CPP or CPS.
  • ATTC of New England DLP is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP ™) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. (provider # 6463) 4 clock hours will be provided for this event.

*Combined certificates are available upon request.

Certificates will be immediately printable from the course homepage to participants in the program for its duration who submit all required materials.

Please contact your local certification board to verify reciprocity or acceptance of The ATTC of New England’s Distance Learning contact hours.

To participate, you must have:

  • An E-mail address and the capacity to retrieve and send E-mail;
  • Access to World Wide Web (the following programs provide WWW access: Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Explorer)
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher is the preferred browser for ATTC of New England DLP online courses
  • The ability to navigate the World Wide Web
  • A basic understanding of how to use a computer and send and receive email


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: April 23, 2012 or when the course limit is reached.

To register for this course please log into your account or create your account then log into your account and click the Enroll in a New Course link at the bottom of your account page (have your credit card ready). On the Enrollment page select ‘612 Confidentiality’ using the left pull down menu. Use the right pull down menu to select the type of certificate you wish to receive. Once both the course and certificate type have been selected click the Enroll and Pay button. Complete your payment by filling in all required fields and following all on screen prompts. Once your payment has been processed your registration has been concluded. To register using alternate forms of payment (check, money order, or invoice) contact [email protected] for registration processing. To view payment information please use the payment policies.

For a list of current ATTC of New England Distance Learning courses, please go to the following site:


Please Bookmark this site for future references. Course announcements will be made via the ATTC of New England Online Course Announcement Listserve 6-8 weeks prior to the start of each course. If you would like to be subscribed to this list, please contact the ATTC of New England DLP at [email protected]

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