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Patient Rights



PATIENTS’ RIGHTS 


• With a few exceptions required by law, or for health and safety of the patient, the patient’s relationship with the therapist is confidential and no information will be released to a third party without the patient’s or client’s written permission.

• Some of the exceptions which the therapist is mandated to report include:
Suspected or actual child abuse,
Physical abuse to the elderly, and
Threats or imminent danger of physical damage to ones self or to others

• Other exceptions may include when a patient is seen in conjunction with a significant other (e.g spouse, parent, child, etc.). When seen in conjunction with a significant other, unless specific information is requested to be withheld, it is left to the therapist’s discretion in regards to disclosure.

• In the case of certain court hearings, the therapist could be required to testify and/or present case records. Patient privilege rights are preserved in many and most cases.


If you have any concerns or questions about patient rights,
please discuss the issue with the therapist.
 


Confidentiality


PATIENTS' CONFIDENTIALITY


Physicians and Therapists have always had a duty to keep their patients' confidences. In essence this means that a physician or therapist may not disclose any physical or mental health information revealed by a patient or discovered by a physician or therapist in connection with the treatment of a patient. The general rule regarding release of a patient's medical record is that information contained in a patient's medical record may be released to third parties only if the patient has consented to such disclosure.  This is withstanding the conditions listed under "patient rights" above. 

The patient's express authorization is required before the medical records can be released to the following parties: patient's attorney or insurance company; patient's employer, unless a worker's compensation claim is involved; member of the patient's family, except where the family member has been appointed the the patient's attorney under a durable power of attorney for health care; government agencies; and other third parties.

Some state laws expressly allow disclosure to any person upon consent of the patient. Other state laws permit release on patient consent only to specified classes of persons. Further, once the patient has given consent to release the record, the disclosure requirement may be mandatory for the holder of the medical record or merely permissive.  General content of the release include the following:

1. Patient's name and identifying information;
2. Address of the health care professional or institution directed to release the information;
3. Description of the information to be released;
4. Identity of the party to be furnished the information;
5. Language authorizing release of information;
6. Signature of patient or authorized individual; and
7. Time period for which release remains valid.



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