WS Confidentiality Policy

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Explanation of Privacy, Confidentiality, & Privilege:

  • Please be advised that there are ethical and legal considerations regarding privacy, confidentiality, and privilege as it relates to one’s information disclosed in treatment and one’s expectation to maintain control over his/her information.

  • Privacy: Involves an individual’s right to control the disclosure of personal information and to keep information to oneself. When a client gives a professional permission or consent to release information the professional only releases the minimum information necessary for the disclosure and within the parameters the client specifically allowed in the consent.

  • Confidentiality: Refers to the professional’s ethical duty to protect private information, including all information obtained in the professional therapeutic relationship. A mental health professional has a professional, ethical, and legal duty to safeguard confidential information from unauthorized disclosure. As a general rule, confidential information is disclosed only when mandated by law or with the client’s written authorization. There are limitations and exceptions, however; which include dangerousness to self or dangerousness to others, or the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of minors, the elderly, or individuals considered vulnerable or at risk.

  • Privilege: A legal concept limited to the protection of confidential information from forced disclosure in court and in other legal proceedings. Privilege refers to the legal obligation that protects a client against forced disclosure of confidential information in court and in other legal proceedings. Privilege also has limits in legal parameters.

  • The provider will respect, protect, and adhere to all ethical and legal obligations with regards to protecting your privacy, confidentiality, and protected health information (PHI).

  • The client or client’s representative and/or parent(s)/guardian(s) must be aware that no one has complete absolute confidentiality.

  • The client may sign a consent to release information form if he/she would like to give permission to the provider to coordinate and/or share the client’s confidential information with a third party.

  • The provider is legally and ethically obligated to report the imminent threat of harm to self or others to proper authorities. The client is advised that the provider will report threats of imminent harm to oneself or others in order to facilitate and ensure the safety of the client and/or others.

  • In circumstances where Wellness Solutions, LLC requests the client for consent to release information to ensure safety and the client declines the consent to release information then Wellness Solutions, LLC will discharge the client from care and the client will not be permitted to readmit to Wellness Solutions, LLC at any time in the future.

  • The provider is legally and ethically compelled to report suspected child abuse, elder abuse, and/or abuse of adults who are disabled or unable to care for themselves.

  • The provider is legally and ethically compelled to report when clients may pose a risk to the public.

  • The provider may be compelled to provide confidential information related to treatment and diagnosis to third party payers and insurance companies as part of the claims submission and utilization review process. The client is advised that confidential information, such as diagnosis codes, provided to third party payers and insurance companies may result in changes to his/her coverage and ability to secure insurance coverage in the future. Further, clients in areas of employment where the pursuit of treatment may have implications on his/her employment are advised that the submission of claims to third party payers and insurance companies may be shared with his/her employer.

  • The provider advises the client information regarding the care of the client may be released or shared with third party payers, insurance providers, and employee assistance plans (EAP).

  • The provider advises the client information may be shared based on need and to allow access to the minimum necessary client information required for purposes of standard business practices, quality control, quality improvement, clinical quality measures, client safety, legal procedures, audits, coordination with insurance companies or third party payers, audits from governmental bodies, credit card vendors, billing purposes, and for other similar purposes.

  • The provider is legally compelled to comply with a subpoena and other actions of the court system in specific situations and circumstances.

  • The client is advised that a client's treatment and all documentation with regard to treatment can be subpoenaed in a court of law.

  • The client is advised that there is no complete and total confidentiality, privacy, or privilege for anyone regardless of circumstances. There are limitations ethically and legally to confidentiality, privacy, and privilege.

  • The provider is legally compelled to allow government agencies access to client information and records for purposes of audits, investigations, and other official purposes.

  • The client relinquishes all rights to privacy and confidentiality in the event the client/client guardian or any agent of the client provides a threat of any type and through any type of communication to Wellness Solutions and/or staff such that Wellness Solutions will protect the Wellness Solutions staff, clients, premises, and reputation.

  • The client is advised that any and all legal and/or ethical rights to privacy and confidentiality are void in the event of legal, ethical, regulatory, or consumer complaints, investigations, audits, hearings, or other legal actions or proceedings.

  • The client’s privacy and confidentiality relinquishes all rights to privacy and confidentiality if the client brings complaint or action against the provider for ethics investigations, HIPAA ONC investigations, or other legal activities, such as, arbitration, mediation, depositions, discovery, or lawsuits.

  • The client is advised that the provider shares information with the following, but not limited to, partners called business associates and has contracts with said associates called Business Associate Agreements (BAA) for normal standard business practices with whom protected health information (PHI) may be shared.

  • Though minors due have a right to privacy, in most sets of circumstances, they do not have confidentiality with the same rights as an adult. Minor clients are advised that there are limitations to confidentiality especially with parents and/or legal guardians.

WS Electronic Communications Policy:

  • All communications with Wellness Solutions, LLC staff are required to be of a professional administrative, clinical, or financial subject matter and using only official Wellness Solutions, LLC communication channels.

  • Though all clients and members of the public are welcome to participate in Wellness Solutions, LLC social media clients are not permitted to privately message or contact Wellness Solutions, LLC to inquire about administrative, clinical, or financial subject matter.

  • Clients are not permitted to communicate with Wellness Solutions, LLC staff by outreaching staff on the staff member’s personal social media or communication channels.

Mandatory Court Reporter:

  • The provider is a mandated court reporter, as such, the provider is legally and ethically compelled to report ANY suspected or reported abuse to minors, the elderly, adults who are at risk for exploitation/abuse or are disabled or unable to care for themselves. Wellness Solutions, LLC is ethically and legally mandated to report any and all suspected verbal, emotional, psychological, physical, financial, and sexual abuse.

  • The provider is not permitted to investigate suspicions or claims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

  • The provider is legally and ethically compelled to report to proper authorities who investigate concerns regarding abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Information necessary for making a report is not covered under confidentiality, privacy, or HIPAA laws or ethical guidelines.

  • The provider is a mandated court reporter for all concerns regarding abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation and makes said reports to Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) or Texas Adult Protective Services (APS )

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