Confidentiality

State and federal law require us to maintain the confidentiality of your identifiable information that relates to your counseling and psychiatric healthcare. In general, we may not disclose your health information without your consent. There are some exceptions to this, which are described below. Please review this section carefully and ask any questions that you may have.

Our pledge regarding health information:

We understand that health information about you and your healthcare is personal. We are committed to protecting the confidentiality of your information. We create a record of the care and services you receive from us in order to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements.

How we may use and disclose health information about you:

We may use or disclose health information about you without your signed consent for purposes related to:

  • Treatment: We may use your information within the Harrison Health Center (HHC) to provide for your treatment. The HHC provides integrated and holistic care, and as a result, your information may be shared between the counseling, psychiatric, and medical staff when deemed clinically or medically appropriate.
  • Healthcare Operations: We may use your information for activities that relate to the performance and operation of the HHC. Examples of healthcare operations are quality assessment and improvement activities, audits and administrative services, and case management and care coordination.
  • Abuse or Neglect (including sexual abuse) of a Child: If we have reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, we are legally required to report this to the appropriate authorities.
  • Abuse or Neglect (including sexual abuse) of a Vulnerable Adult: If we have reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse or neglect or exploitation, we are legally required to report this to the appropriate authorities.
  • Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose your health information to federal or state agencies that oversee the healthcare system and enforcement of civil rights laws for audits, investigations, or inspections.
  • Legal Proceedings: We may disclose your health information to courts and attorneys in response to a court order, subpoena, or other lawful process, or if necessary, to defend ourselves in a lawsuit.
  • Law Enforcement: We may disclose your health information to law enforcement officials as required or permitted by law to assist with a criminal investigation or in the search for a criminal or fugitive.
  • Threats to Health or Safety: If you communicate a threat of imminent harm against a specified individual or group of individuals, or we believe there is an imminent risk of physical or mental injury being inflicted against another individual, we may disclose your health information if we believe it is necessary to protect that individual from harm. We may also disclose your health information to protect you from harm if we believe that you present an imminent, serious risk of harm to yourself.
  • Medical Emergency: We may disclose your information to medical personnel in the event of a medical emergency.
  • Appointments and Other Health Benefits: We may contact you to remind you about your appointments and bring to your attention other health-related benefits.
  • Business Associates: We may disclose your health information to third parties that provide certain services to us, known as “business associates.” Business associates are required to maintain the privacy of your information at the same level as we do.
  • Payment: We may disclose your personal information in order to collect fees/payment for services.
  • Public Health Emergency: During a public health emergency (e.g., due to COVID-19), if your mental health clinician learns that you have tested positive for COVID-19, he or she may need to report this information to St. John’s College medical providers for coordination with college administrators and/or the local health department. This is to aid in efforts to monitor and mitigate the spread of the condition in question.

For participants in group counseling, we cannot guarantee that all participants will honor confidentiality agreements.

Other disclosures will be made only with your written consent or as otherwise permitted by law. You have the right to revoke your consent at any time, except if action has already been taken in reliance on it.