Saturday, January 12, 2019

Denver Counselor and Therapist: Client Privacy Rights

Today's Blog Post

This is an info-educational post, reminding you to be good mental health client-consumers --  to know HIPPA 'best business practice' and your privacy rights.

Many potential clients ask the following: Why is your Washington Park office address not published?

⇾ For their safety and well-being, some of our client's identities must be protected as much as possible.  Think difficult marriages, divorce, victims of domestic abuse, violent crimes, and sex assault.

⇾ Also, think high profile professionals and public figures in who must maintain their privacy and anonymity (e.g., professional athletes, judge, mayor, law enforcement officers, etc).

Now shift your thinking to the following:

Professional offices, including physician, dentist, mental healthcare agencies, and busy private counseling offices, claim to provide identity protection, but infrequently do not.  The following scenario happens everyday:

⇾ As you check in, while in the presence of strangers and/or clients waiting nearby, you or the employee may publicly announce your name, D.O.B, review personal contact and insurance information, including your social security number.

Be informed client-consumers (know your rights):

⇾ An announcement of any kind, which publicly shares your information, regardless if you are the only person in the office, is a violation of your patient privacy rights, and/or a direct violation of HIPPA laws.  In any professional office or other regulated offices, under no circumstance should you ever publicly announce your personal information -- if asked to do so, this is an outdated business practice that puts your identity at risk.

⇾ Further, if privacy and confidentiality are important to you, we recommend questioning if the counseling office is shared with other counselors, and their employees.  Additionally, be aware if the entire office space is shared with other professional services (e.g., massage therapist, tax services, or other).

Full Disclosure, Your Life Counseling offers the following service locations:

  • Mobile counseling at your home, office, or other -- Strictly follows HIPPA laws and never publicly disclose your personal information or share an office with strangers.
  • Private office, non-published location, no waiting room -- Strictly follows HIPPA laws and never publicly disclose your personal information or share an office with strangers.
  • Shared office, with separate waiting room -- Strictly follows HIPPA laws, with the possibility of sharing a waiting room with strangers. 

Please write down and place crisis/emergency information in easy to find locations. Also, enter the below phone #'s into your cell phones, including 911.

A call could save lives!

Emergency Services
Call 911 or 24 Hour Crisis Center

Contact Link

Contact Link