Our professional ethics (that is, our profession’s rules about values and moral matters), federal laws and the laws of this state prevent us from telling anyone else what you tell us unless you give us written permission.
Privacy rules and laws are the ways our society recognizes and supports the privacy of what we talk about in other words, the “confidentiality” of therapy. However, there are some exceptions that are rare, but they are important for you to know. Disclosure may be required pursuant to certain legal proceedings such as when you or other persons are in physical danger, or the law may require disclosure to a third party when there is a reasonable suspicion of child or elder abuse. You will receive complete written documentation about the laws and limits governing confidentiality during our first meeting.
Additionally, if you use your health insurance (managed care) to pay for psychotherapy, your managed care company may request detailed information about the reason we are seeing you, the types of services that we are providing, information about how you are doing in many areas of your life (at work, in your family, and in activities of daily living) and the progress you are making towards your goals. All of this information will become part of the MCO’s records, and some of it will be included in your permanent medical record at the Medical Information Bureau, a national data bank. While this data bank is not open to the public, the information will be examined when you apply for life or health insurance, and it may be considered when you apply for employment, credit or loans, a security clearance, or other things in the future.
All insurance carriers claim to keep the information they receive confidential, and there are federal laws about its release. The laws and ethics that apply to me are much stricter than the rules that apply at present to MCOs. For some people and some problems, the privacy of their communications to their therapist is absolutely essential to their work on their difficulties. For others, their problems are not ones that raise much concern over confidentiality. You should evaluate your situation carefully in regard to confidentiality. If you are concerned about who might see your records now or in the future, we should discuss this issue more thoroughly before we start treatment and you may want to consider private pay model which will assure you the utmost confidentiality.
Psychological Health & Development Associates, LLC