California Health and Human Services

Link to California State Web Portal
Link to the California Web State Portal

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 following 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 the latest news on the SHIG efforts, we are pleased to provide the latest SHIG Newsletter:

March/April 2021 SHIG Newsletter


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.

Addressing Additional Vulnerable Populations

CalOHII has received federal funding, as well as private grant funding from the California Healthcare Foundation and the Archstone Foundation, to update and expand the SHIG to cover important topics that CalOHII was unable to address in the original SHIG. The project is funded through September, 2021.

This augmentation of the SHIG will address the appropriate and legal sharing of patient information among providers of services to the vulnerable populations listed below. As with the original SHIG, the goal is to enable health and social service providers to better coordinate patient care without being denied legitimate access to needed patient information.

Topics include:

  • Foster children
  • Older adults
  • Minors
  • People living with HIV/AIDS
  • People living with developmental disabilities
  • Patient authorizations
  • Public Health
  • Homelessness

As these topics are very broad, CalOHII will be working with stakeholders to narrow the scope of each topic to address the most common barriers and include those scenarios that will provide the greatest positive impact.

If you are interested in learning more about the project, please email

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