Confidentiality

Confidentiality

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is a must in mental health treatment. HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) privacy regulations require health care providers and organizations, as well as their business associates, to develop and follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality and security of protected health information (PHI) when it is transferred, received, handled, or shared. This applies to all forms PHI, including paper, oral, and electronic, etc. Only the minimum health information necessary to conduct business is to be used or shared.

Confidentiality has some exceptions. Those exceptions are as follows:

  • The client threatens to harm self or others.
  • The client uses drugs or alcohol irresponsibly when pregnant.
  • The client is physically or sexually abusing a child or vulnerable adult.
  • The client is a child who reports being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused by an adult.
  • The client’s information is requested by the court system.
  • The client is under age 18 and the therapist deems it is in the best interest of the child to share information.
  • Requests for information from the client’s insurance company.

Consultation

Ongoing consultation with other licensed mental health professional does take place as a means of proving clients with the best possible professional service. Client confidentiality is protected within these settings.

Release of Information

Coordination of care by communicating or consulting with another person or organization about the client’s situation is often used. Before this can be done, client must sign a form giving authorization to do so.

Communication

Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed when communicating via email. It cannot be guaranteed by phone because of caller ID. In order to maintain confidentiality, the therapist will not initiate contact or acknowledge the existence of a relationship when encountering each other in public settings.

Payment by check or credit card

Payments made by check or credit card will result in identifying information appearing on your statements.