California Health and Human Services

State Health Information Guidance (SHIG)

The State Health Information Guidance (SHIG) is a collaboration of the California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII) with various organizations to develop specific materials to help clarify federal and state laws that affect disclosure and sharing of health information.  The SHIG efforts comprise of comprehensive research, drawing from a broad group of stakeholders that reflect cross-industry insights and experience, to get a clear understanding of the problems different groups were facing in the field.

This page provides information on the SHIG efforts:

We strongly encourage all users of the SHIG to read it in its entirety and consult with your legal counsel if you have any questions.

For information about the SHIG, email

Sharing Behavioral Health Information in California

CalOHII, with support from the California Health Care Foundation, created the initial version of SHIG which focused on sharing behavioral health information in California.  This version of SHIG:

  • Provides an authoritative but non-binding guidance from the State of California written in plain language for a general audience
  • Explains when, where, and why mental health and substance use disorder information can be exchanged
  • Provides clarification of state and federal laws
  • Contains 22 scenarios derived from real user stories, which clarify how laws apply to actual situations that arise for care providers

Download the SHIG:

Other Information:

Reduce Food Insecurity among Vulnerable Californians

The California Food Policy Advocates, in association with the California Primary Care Association, are working in partnership with CALOHII to create a new version of SHIG.  The latest version will provide clarification of federal and state law targeting the sharing of patient information between clinical health providers and providers of nutrition and food services, both public and private. Like the original SHIG, this augmentation will illustrate a path to protecting patient privacy while providing for the sharing of patient information —  but with the goal of connecting patients with providers of food and nutrition assistance.

As before, this project will tap the experience, expertise, and knowledge of a wide-range of committed stakeholders who will identify and prioritize the most critical use cases. These use cases will provide the basis for new scenarios which will illustrate a path to comply with state and federal privacy law while ensuring patients, for whom food insecurity is a risk, can have access to resources to improve their health outcomes.

CalOHII plans to dedicate 2020 to the research and drafting of this new augmentation. If you are interested in being a member of the active stakeholder community for this new SHIG augmentation, please email We welcome your interest and expertise.

Project Materials:

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