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Charlotte Area News

County plans to investigate handling of Chapman treatment

http://66.225.205.104/JR20100407a.mp3

Mecklenburg County Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts says there will be an official review of the way treatment was handled for Kenneth Chapman. According to documents obtained by the Charlotte Observer, Chapman sought help from the county's mental health center hours before killing three family members. The Charlotte Observer has published records from the county's mental health center which show Kenneth Chapman told staff he was thinking of killing his wife and wanted help. Chapman spent four hours in interviews and observation before being released from the mental health facility operated by Carolinas Medical Center. Hours later, police believe Chapman killed his wife and two of his children. Two weeks later he killed himself when confronted by police. Mecklenburg County Commissioners have asked for a review of the mental health center's handling of the case. Area Mental Health Director Grayce Crockett says another investigation is underway to see how Chapman's confidential medical records ended up in the paper, "to make sure that our processes are appropriate and in place and that everyone is aware of sensitive nature of protected health information." Crockett says leaking medical records is a serious breach of confidentiality laws, even if the patient is no longer alive. Those same privacy rules make it unlikely that the mental health center review of the Chapman case will be made public. Thursday on Morning Edition, WFAE's Scott Graf will speak with a Charlotte Observer editor about that investigation and the paper's decision to publish Chapman's mental health record.