The law protects the privacy of the majority of our communication. In most situations, I can only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written authorization form that meets certain legal requirements imposed by state law and/or HIPAA guidelines. There are, however, important exceptions in which I am required or permitted to disclose information about you without either your consent or authorization.
The following list provides an extensive overview of these exceptions. Please feel free to ask me any questions if these exceptions are unclear.
- I must notify the intended victim and the appropriate law enforcement agencies if I judge that a client has an intention to cause grave harm or death to another individual.
- If a client's mental or emotional condition is assessed as dangerous to the client or the property of others, I may disclose confidential information if I determine disclosure is necessary to prevent the threatened danger.
- I must report any suspicious child abuse or sexual abuse to protect the child/children involved.
- I must report the witnessing of domestic violence by minor children, even if the children themselves are not physically harmed.
- I must report any suspected abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse of an elderly person or dependent adult to protect the elderly person or dependent adult involved.
- In cases of alleged criminal or civil liability, I may be court ordered to release treatment information and/or records. In addition, if a client files a complaint or lawsuit against me, I may disclose relevant information regarding that client in order to defend myself.
- Some confidentiality will be lost in the insurance billing process. Additionally, if you have a managed care policy, clinical information is generally required in order to approve reimbursement for services rendered. The specific information requested varies with each policy. I will discuss this information in more detail with you at your request.
- I may determine it clinically necessary to discuss some aspects of your psychotherapy with another qualified professional in order to further your treatment goals. If I seek such a consultation, neither your name nor any identifying information will be communicated.
- I may release your name for collections processing. However, no treatment-related information will accompany the disclosure.
- If a client files a worker's compensation claim, I must, upon appropriate request, disclose the information relevant to the claimant's condition to the worker's compensation insurer.