A federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which was established to protect your privacy, now requires that the clinician provide you with the following information and obtain your signature confirming that you have read and understood it.
Refer to records that include your name, address, telephone numbers, fee, dates of sessions and cancellations, charges, payment and balances, and other documentation of sessions. If an insurance company is involved, these records will include the required diagnostic and procedure codes. Before the clinician provides any information to an insurance company or other third parties requesting it, the clinician will discuss the request with you to be sure you wish them to honor it. Records are securely stored in a HIPAA compliant system. Your privacy with regard to these records is protected by law, although records can be subpoenaed by a court of law, and the clinician could be required to provide the records or information in them.
Refer to the clinician's private notes taken about the sessions. Such notes are now far more protected by law from any third party intrusion than are the Records listed above. They are considered “privileges” meaning that the clinician can and would legally refuse to turn them over to anyone, including you or a court of law, except under a few specified and extreme circumstances. the clinician store my notes elsewhere with no identifying information except your initials. Periodically, when therapists meet with supervisors or trusted colleagues to further understand their work, portions of these notes may be discussed, taking care to protect your privacy by excluding any identifying information and by disguising your identity.
At your request, the clinician will provide you with a copy of these policies. If you have questions about any of this information, let the clinician know.