• Scholarly report

Behavioral Health Data Exchange Consortium


Parker, G., Roach, D., Turner, C., Koch, K., Costich, J., Coyle, K., ... Reynolds, S. (2014). Behavioral Health Data Exchange Consortium: ONC State Health Policy Consortium project. Final report. (Prepared for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.


In August 2011, representatives from Florida, Michigan, Kentucky, Alabama, and New Mexico formed the Behavioral Health Data Exchange (BHDE) Consortium and were later joined by Nebraska and Iowa. The purpose of the consortium was to address legal and technical barriers to the exchange of behavioral health data between health care providers, among organizations, and across state lines and to execute successful pilot exchanges using the solutions developed. This project was funded under the State Health Policy Consortium initiative managed by RTI International on behalf of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

To avoid legal and technical complexities associated with the privacy and security of behavioral health data, most current health information exchange activities focus on general physical health data. Behavioral health data require additional protections beyond those of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including adherence to 42 CFR Part 2, which limits the disclosure of identifiable information by a federally assisted substance abuse treatment program to any entity, even for treatment, without signed consent from the patient to authorize the disclosure, with limited exceptions. It also restricts the redisclosure of that data by the receiving entity for any purpose without consent.