News & Updates from Monahan Law Group, LLC

March is Social Work Month

This March, Monahan Law Group continued to engage in issues that impact social workers and, in turn, the communities they serve. Joe Monahan presented to New Trier High School's social workers and members of the Illinois Association of School Social Workers. Joe Monahan and Joe Willuweit serve as members of the NASW special interest group for telehealth. Additionally, Joe Monahan, president of the malpractice insurance company for NASW, wrote an article on the recent victory at the North Carolina Supreme Court which affirmed social workers' obligation to report child abuse and their protection from retaliatory actions for reporting.

Social work professionals impact people in meaningful and positive ways. We are proud to call many of them clients and to provide guidance as they face the legal challenges in their practice. From subpoenas to contracts to confidentiality and more, we provide essential legal and risk management services to protect them.

Monahan Law Group, LLC salutes all social workers during Social Work Month. Thank you for all you do!

Welcome Attorney Emily A. Ralph

Emily A. RalphWe are excited to announce that Emily A. Ralph has joined Monahan Law Group, LLC.

Emily joins Monahan Law Group with 12 years of legal experience in a wide variety of matters. At Monahan Law Group, Emily concentrates her practice on estate planning, probate administration, business planning, and real estate.

Prior to joining Monahan Law Group, Emily litigated many cases before the probate court and other divisions of the circuit court. She has also advised clients in creating estate plans that fit their needs. She has represented closely held businesses in all aspects, including formation and operation. She has also represented buyers and sellers in numerous real estate transactions and has represented lenders in both foreclosure proceedings and collection practices.

Emily received her law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School where she concentrated in business transactions. While in law school, Emily was awarded a Certificate of Merit in Business Planning and was on the Dean's List. She received her B.A. in Political Science/Pre-Law from Michigan State University.

Emily can be reached at eralph@monahanlawllc.com or (312) 419-0252.

Changes to Rules for Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Records

On January 18, 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a final rule to update and modernize 42 CFR Part 2, which had not been substantively changed since 1987. The regulation, formerly known as "Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records," has been renamed as "Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records." Effective March 21, 2017, the rule is intended to align the original purpose of the regulation -- confidentiality and privacy protections -- with new integrated models of care delivery and increased emphasis on efficient sharing of patient information.

Changes to the rules include:

  • Allowing for a general designation of to whom information may be disclosed (e.g. "to my current and future treating providers") if the entity is not the patient's treating provider
  • Requiring written authorizations to contain an explicit description of the substance use disorder information that may be disclosed
  • Applying Part 2 data security rules to all other lawful holders of patient identifying information, more closely aligning with HIPAA
  • Clarifying that patient identifying information may be disclosed to medical personnel in a bona fide medical emergency where informed consent cannot be obtained
  • Adding or altering the definitions of "substance use disorder," "treating provider relationship," "disclose," "patient," "patient identifying information," and more SAMHSA intends to issue additional guidance sometime after publication of the final rule.

For questions related to the new rules, and other areas of confidentiality, please contact our office.