To build a working relationship, there must be trust and an understanding the information revealed and addressed will remain confidential. Patients at DWC can expect all information regarding their treatment will remain confidential unless our clinicians are legally and/or ethically bound to report to certain agencies or we have prior authorization by the patient or their responsible party.
Confidentiality and Minors
It is important to maintain a certain level of confidentiality, even with minor children under the age of 18. However, by law, parents are entitled to have knowledge of all information regarding the treatment of their child(ren). The level of confidentiality between the clinician and child will be addressed with all parties on a case by case basis.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
- Our clinicians are obligated to report any suspicion of abuse or neglect to a minor child, elderly individual, or mentally impaired individual.
- If it is believed a patient will harm him/herself or someone else, our clinicians are obligated to contact the appropriate law enforcement and/or medical officials.
- If a patient is referred to DWC by an agency, such as CPS or DARS, the agency is our client, not the patient. Information revealed to our clinicians is, therefore, subject to be released to the referring agency. If this is the case, this exception will be explained to you thoroughly at the onset of treatment.
- In some circumstances, DWC records may be subject to subpoena by a court of law.
- If your payor source is a health insurance company, DWC may be required to release certain patient information as dictated by law.
- The law permits DWC to submit certain patient information to a collection agency in order to collect the balance of an overdue account.
This list is not exhaustive but includes common examples of exceptions to patient/clinician confidentiality. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact DWC.