Where Your Help
Privacy and Confidentiality:
The cornerstone of the
Maintaining privacy and
confidentiality requires additional effort in the small town, rural
atmosphere of TRANSITIONS Personal and Family Counseling Services.
Below, you will find information on facility design measures that have
been taken to ensure environmental privacy.
environmental privacy (a safe, private place to meet), the emergence of
managed care, insurance and the corporate world into healthcare have
forced many challenges onto therapists and clients with regard to
maintaining both client privacy and avoiding unethical manipulation of the
client by those who put profit over patient/client welfare.
you will find links to articles on this site that will allow you to make
an informed choice regarding the level of privacy and confidentiality you
and your family require in order to receive services here - or at any
other healthcare facility. I wrote some of them years ago, when I
first "saw the writing on the wall" with regard to the impact managed care
and corporate morality would have on folks just trying to get well.
HIPAA - A
significant professional cost, I continue to believe what the world is
coming to recognize: a terrible thing happens when corporate-driven profit motive remains the
priority over healing people - privacy, confidentiality, and the healing
process are compromised in the name of the bottom line. Rather than
completely overhauling the dysfunctional healthcare system in our society,
with it's powerful corporate healthcare lobbies, our government has come
up with the HIPAA law. Though the public is informed that the law
exists to protect them, the law actually dictates a bureaucratic process
whereby the public is informed how its previously confidential healthcare
information will be used and disclosed - whether the public likes it or not!
The upside of this, in our new digital society, is that essential
information can be streamlined to the best resources to promote the
healing process. The downside is how the information is used and
limit and manipulate treatment in the name of maximizing profits.
Patient/client diagnoses communicated between healthcare professionals as
a foundation for determining treatment strategy became strategic labels to maximize
profits for "consumers' covered lives." In some healthcare settings,
there is a less-complicated way to receive services without the
privacy-invading bureaucracy and compromised services. And that is to keep
everything in-house, where information does not leave the treatment
setting, except with the expressed knowledge and consent of the
Assured Privacy and Confidentiality
small, private counseling practice lends ideally to this option. By
policy, at TRANSITIONS, client health information is kept in-house when
clients use the private, sliding scale fee-for-services approach to
receiving counseling. Client information is not routinely subject to
digital transfer for off-site billing, management and records collection
purposes. There are some exceptions to this traditional
"nobody-knows-but-us" policy - and you will know about it if you
are an exception.
Deciding Who Else Should Know - and How Much
I continue to avoid managed care involvement for ethical reasons, I do
take insurance by client request (when I am confident the client is making
an informed choice). Also, I have seen some managed care clients
off-panel, when circumstances indicate that such is in the best interests
of the client. As some managed care organizations show some signs of
putting client needs first, I may decide to become involved with those
companies that I perceive as having developed ethically sound policies.
Further, I have participated by contract in some good employee assistance
programs, and some clients come to me by way of referral from those
programs. Since all of these involve some sharing of data, or
information, these types of circumstances come under HIPAA law, under
which I am bound to provide my polices in conformance with HIPAA law.
Especially if your counseling arrangements fall into one of the categories
defined in this paragraph, I recommend that you review my
Federally-dictated HIPAA policy, by clicking on the link below.
Finally, if you receive e-counseling, e-mail consultation or participate
in any of my web-based services/scheduling/payment options, it is
important that you know that all transactions are based on secure servers
using encryption technology to insure your privacy and confidentiality.
Remember, I do not charge you for calling to make inquiries about
counseling. It is important that you feel comfortable that all of
your questions and concerns about receiving counseling are addressed
before we begin.