Integrating Physical and Behavioral Health

To effectively exchange data, states must understand the legal barriers that may prevent the data-sharing between physical and behavioral health care providers.

To support care integration efforts, states should work with providers and managed care plans to debunk misconceptions about legal privacy rules that may impede data-sharing between physical and behavioral health providers.

This brief by Manatt Health Solutions, a division of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, examines the strategies states use to address these legal barriers, including:

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Federal substance abuse treatment regulations
  • Federal and state health information privacy laws

Given the patchwork of state and federal laws governing health information privacy, barriers to data exchange vary from one situation to another. The authors provide examples of common obstacles health care providers face when sharing data, in addition to potential strategies for overcoming such barriers.


Medicaid programs across the country are developing strategies to better integrate the delivery of physical and behavioral health care services. However, many providers are reluctant to share data for fear of violating health information privacy laws. This webinar hosted by State Health and Value Strategies, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shares experiences overcoming barriers to sharing behavioral and physical health care information.


  • Robert Belfort, JD, partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
  • Christine Collins, MSW, director, Office of Rural Health and Community Care, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Joe Parks, MD, director, Missouri HealthNet Division, Missouri Department of Social Services
  • Paul Wilder, MBA, vice president of product management, New York eHealth Collaborative; program director, New York eHealth Collaborative Regional Extension Center

Watch the archived webinar