CONFIDENTIALITY & PRIVACY POLICIES
The law protects the relationship between a client and a mental health professional, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission. There are only a few exceptions to this protection.
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which we are required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, we must notify law enforcement and warn the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, we will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If this is unsuccessful, we may take further measures to ensure their safety.
Please note that mental health records may contain very sensitive and private information, the release of which can result in significant vulnerabilities for our clients. Therefore, in keeping with the standard of care, we avoid releasing records directly to the client or parents of the client. We are happy to release treatment records to other professionals (licensed health care & mental health care professionals, attorneys, etc) with written permission. By law the information in the treatment record belongs to the client, but the records themselves must be kept and maintained by the provider. If you would like to review your treatment records directly, please contact us to set up an appointment to review the information in your record with the treating provider - in this way we can ensure understanding of the information and answer any questions you might have. In keeping with the 21st Century Cures Act, please note that "psychotherapy notes" detailing specific session material are not subject to release. Licensed mental health professionals also have a responsibility to refuse to comply with a written request for release of information if we feel strongly that such release would not be in the best interest of our client.
We will soon be transitioning to new software that will provide a patient portal - this portal will allow access to summary treatment data for your convenience. We will notify our clients when this is enabled.
In cases of divorce and custody disputes, the parents of minor children in treatment are expected to respect the treatment record as belonging to the child. We do our best to protect the confidentiality of our child clients so that they will be able to make good use of therapy. Therefore, treatment records are only released with the written permission of a parent, for an appropriate disclosed purpose. In such cases, treatment summaries will be made available to both parents. As mentioned above, psychotherapy notes will not be disclosed. In divorce/custody situations, the full treatment record will not be released without a court order/subpoena signed by a judge.
If you would like to request your records be released, please send an email to your provider or to [email protected] and request that a digital release form be sent to you. You may also call us at 919.303.0273.
ATTENDANCE & CANCELLATION POLICY:
When you make an appointment with a therapist at our practice, we reserve that time especially for you. We do not overbook our appointments because we feel that our clients deserve to be seen in a timely manner. Just as you deserve your therapist’s full attention during your appointment, we greatly appreciate knowing in advance when a client is unable to keep their appointment. When appointments are cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, it is almost impossible to fill that time slot with another client. Also, please note that insurance companies do not pay benefits for missed and late-cancelled appointments.
Therefore, missed appointments create a financial strain for our practice and make it difficult to serve the many clients on our waiting list. It is also important to note that consistency in attending counseling sessions is critical to effective counseling, and we want our clients to really benefit from our services. For these reasons, your account will be charged a $60 fee if you miss a scheduled appointment or cancel an appointment with less than 24 hours notice. Please let our office staff know if there is an extenuating circumstance preventing you from being able to keep your appointment (ie, illness, death in the family, etc…) as we certainly recognize that unexpected situations can arise.
POLICY REGARDING CONSENT FOR TREATMENT OF MINOR CHILDREN
It is our policy that the parent who consents to the treatment of a minor child is responsible for payment of charges for services rendered. Neither Lifescapes Counseling Associates, nor its contracted therapists, will be involved in divorce/custody disputes as they relate to treatment. Divorced parents bear the responsibility of determining how and if payments for the cost of therapy are split. The parent who brings a child in for therapy is expected to pay the full copay due.
A parent providing consent for treatment is assumed to have the legal right to do so. We expect that the information we receive from a parent is truthful. Misrepresentation of a parent's legal right to consent to treatment may result in termination of services.
In cases of divorce, the parent who is the subscriber for the policy under which a child is covered must provide consent for Lifescapes to file insurance claims. If such consent is not provided, we will be unable to file insurance and therapy services will have to be paid for in full by the parent presenting the child for treatment. Please know that when insurance claims are filed, the subscriber of the child's insurance policy will receive EOB's from their insurance provider indicating that therapy services were rendered.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of our policies, please discuss with your provider