HIPAA & Privacy
All information about our clients, including their identity as a client, is protected and may not be released except under the following circumstances:
- FLC has signed a consent to exchange information on file. When substance abuse services are involved, consent is required even if the client is a minor child and the recipient of the information is a parent.
- Child or elder abuse or neglect
- Danger to the client or identified others
- A court order (not subpoena) for disclosure
- Involvement of a DSS worker or guardian ad litem
- When defense is necessary to protect Full Life Counseling against a complaint or lawsuit
- If a client experiences a medical emergency or commits a crime during the course of their treatment with Full Life and said information would be helpful to authorities
- All of our communication becomes part of the clinical record, which is accessible to you upon request and is considered protected health information. When record requests are made, it is our policy to release records directly to other professionals. If you wish to receive copies of records for yourself, we require a meeting to go through the records with you to provide information and explanations of terms, abbreviations, diagnoses and other information that could otherwise be confusing or upsetting if received without the benefit of discussion with a licensed professional counselor or other licensed professional.
- Full Life Counseling does not submit electronic claims to insurance companies.
- Full Life Counseling utilizes the HIPAA compliant system, Theranest, for electronic medical records, client accounting and processing of credit/debit/HSA card processing. Theranest is web-based and includes electronic storage of protected health information. One of the convenient features of Theranest is email appointment reminders. Clients are given the opportunity to opt-out of email appointment reminders at the time of admission or change their preferences at any time.
- When clients elect to pay for services by credit/debit/flex card, the merchant account that processes the payment will report Full Life Counseling, PLLC as the payor and that information will be reflected on monthly statements and bank records.
- Full Life Counseling emails pdf-formatted superbills to clients who have requested them.
- Full Life Counseling does not currently have specially encrypted email.
- For those who elect supplemental counseling support or use of video sessions during inclement weather, clients may choose between our HIPAA-compliant video portal Thera-Link. Those who prefer to use FaceTime or Skype will be reminded that such use is not HIPAA-compliant.
- At admission, each Full Life Counseling client is required to identify preferences for communication (re: phone, mail, email), preferences regarding email/text message appointment reminders from Practice Fusion, and preferences/restrictions regarding electronic transmission of financial documents.
Website, Social Networking and Electronic Communication
- Our website, Full-Life-Counseling.com, provides a valuable source of information for potential and current clients. We invite and encourage clients and families to review the website periodically since changes are common.
- Methods currently available for video sessions include Thera-Link, Skype and FaceTime technologies for those electing to participate in distance counseling. Thera-Link is the only secure videoconferencing transmission, and use of Thera-Link requires pre-session registration with Thera-Link.. We cannot guarantee your privacy if you elect non-secure transmission using Skype or FaceTime.
- Full Life Counseling maintains a professional presence on Facebook and individual staff members may maintain professional and/or personal pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social networks. Although our Facebook page and Twitter feeds are privacy-protected to the extent possible, individuals who choose to “like” or “follow” us on Facebook or Twitter are responsible for establishing their own privacy settings to protect themselves from the public identifying a relationship with Full Life Counseling.
- Counselors will not accept invitations to be “friends” on Facebook using their personal pages in keeping with maintaining professional boundaries with clients.
- With the availability of email and text messaging, sometimes clients may wish to communicate with Full Life staff electronically. Although our email accounts and cell phones are privacy-protected to the extent possible, individuals who elect to utilize such communication must recognize limited privacy protection for such communications. Full Life Counseling does not, at this time, have the capacity to utilize specially encrypted email.
- Additionally, it is essential that those who elect to communicate with Full Life Counseling staff utilizing email and/or text message understand our policy regarding such communication. Because our team members have full professional schedules, clinicians may only check email and/or text messages once or twice a day, Monday-Friday. Because we have full personal lives, we may not check email and/or text messages at all at night or on the weekends. It is up to the individual clinician if and when they reply to email/texts, and some staff may elect to wait to discuss the content of such communication in the next scheduled appointment. Therefore, clients should not necessarily expect a response to email or text message communications.
- In the event that a Full Life client experiences an emergency or crisis of any kind and needs a prompt response, email or text messages should not be used.