Strong Protection for the Confidentiality of Your Records

A view from a therapist's office at Lakeview CounselingYour medical records are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). That law outlines the regulations regarding access to and the release of information about you and the health care you receive. To learn more about HIPAA, please explore the official website.

As a health care provider, Lakeview Counseling fully complies with HIPPA and even exceeds the required protections. Psychotherapy notes are held to a higher standard because they are not part of your medical record and are never intended to be shared with anyone other than your therapist.

What is protected?

  • Any information about a person’s health, health care, or payment of health care — this includes mental health and behavioral health issues
  • Information that identifies a person
  • Information created or received by a covered health care plan or provider
  • All medical records and other individually identifiable health information used or disclosed by a covered entity in any form, whether electronically, on paper, or orally

How do the protections work?

In brief, your protected health information may not be disclosed by your therapist or Lakeview Counseling without your informed and voluntary consent or authorization. We are required to obtain your consent to use or disclose your information for health care treatment, payment, or operations.

Are there exceptions?

Any and all conversations or communication you have with your therapist are private and confidential except under certain circumstances:

  • Disclosures required by law
  • Disclosure about victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
  • Emergency circumstances
  • Identification of the body of a deceased person or the cause of death
  • Permitted disclosures for public health activities (i.e., reporting diseases, collecting vital statistics)
  • Research, generally limited to when a waiver of authorization is independently approved by a privacy board or Institutional Review Board
  • Oversight of the health care system
  • Judicial and administrative proceedings
  • Limited law enforcement activities
  • Disclosure to avert a serious threat to health or safety; activities related to national defense and security