Privacy Practices

 

 

 

 Joan Willemain, MSW, LICSW, CMHS

Notice of Privacy Practices

HIPAA Disclosure-Notice of Privacy Practices

Counselor Credentialing Act: (18:19 RCW) The purpose of this law is to provide protection for public health and safety; and to empower the citizens of the Stet of Washington by providing a complaint process against those who would commit acts of unprofessional conduct.

The Washington State Licensing Department asks that you be informed of the following:  “Counselors practicing counseling for a fee must be credentialed with the Department of Health for the protection of the public health and safety. Credentialing of an individual with the department does not include recognition of any practice standards, nor necessarily implies the effectiveness of any treatment.”

Client Rights:

As a client receiving services in the state of Washington, you have the right to choose your counselor and treatment approach; have complete knowledge of your counselor’s qualifications and training; be fully informed under the terms of services, and refuse treatment.

Confidentiality:

 As a counseling client you have privileged communications under state law. With the exceptions of situations listed below, you have the right to have private information shared with me in the strictest confidentiality, including the fact that you are coming to me for counseling. The privilege cannot be waived without your written consent. I will always act to maximize your privacy even when you waive your confidentiality or I find it necessary to act on an exception.

The following are exceptions to your right to confidentiality:

1. The minimum necessary information to collect payment.

2. If I believe you are likely to harm yourself or another person, I am required by law to take steps to protect you and/or the other person.

3. If I believe that you have abused or neglected a minor child or a vulnerable adult, or you report the possible abuse of a child or vulnerable adult by another person, I am required by law to report this to either Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services.

4. If information is required by court.

5. If you file a complaint against me.

6. If you choose to use email for communication, please be aware that I cannot assure confidentiality.  I prefer to use email for scheduling only and to limit sensitive information for our sessions together.  If you send me sensitive information via email, please understand the limits of the internet, although I will take all precautions for your privacy.

Should a disclosure of confidential information be necessary, I will work with you as respectfully and directly as possible.

Record Keeping:

I am required to keep a copy of your records for six years. You also have the right  to request that I do not keep any record of your services other than the date of our meeting. Although I do not recommend this, please let me know if you would like to discuss this option.

Conflict Resolution and Complaints:

At all times It is my desire to be respectful and supportive of your therapy experience.  If you have any concerns, please discuss them with me and I will make every effort to address them. If you are not satisfied and feel I have been unethical, you have the right to contact the Washington State Department of Health, Health Systems Quality Assurance Division, PO Box 47857, Olympia, WA 98504; 360-236-2620, www.doh.wa.gov\h