Walker Signs Jagler Bill On Mental Health

(Watertown) Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill into law this week that helps law enforcement and medical professionals protect those suffering from a mental health crises. State Representative John Jagler authored the measure that allows doctors to share information with police in good faith if they suspect a patient will do harm to either themselves or others. Several state court cases created concerns that sharing information might violate patient privacy laws. The Watertown Republican says physicians reached out to his office in hopes of addressing the issue. He says doctors and emergency room staff are often on the front lines of a mental health crisis and if they cannot talk with authorities it can lead to an incident.  Jagler says it is in the best interest of the patient and the public at large that health care providers and law enforcement can communicate openly during a crisis. He says the bill does not tamper with HIPAA laws. Jagler says the bill helps patients get the proper services they need. He also credited Democratic State Representative Erick Genrich who co-singed the bi-partisan bill which passed on a voice vote in both the assembly and the senate.