Social Media Policy
The following outlines our policies related to the use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how we conduct ourselves on the Internet as mental health professionals and how you can expect us to respond to various interactions that may occur with clients on the Internet. If you have any questions about anything within this document, we encourage you to bring them up when you meet with your counselor. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when this policy will be updated. If we do so, we will notify you in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.
Friending: We do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). We believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
Interacting: Please do not direct message (DM) us on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. These sites are not secure and we may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with us in public online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with us this way could compromise your confidentiality. It may also create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your legal medical record and will need to be documented and archived in your chart. If you need to contact your counselor between sessions, the best way to do so is by direct email for quick administrative issues, such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
Use of Search Engines: It is not a regular part of our practice to search for clients on Google, Facebook, or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If we have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with us via our usual means (coming to appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations, and if we resort to such means we will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.
Google Reader: We do not follow current or former clients on Google Reader, and we do not use Google Reader to share articles. If there are things you want to share with us that you feel are relevant to your treatment.
Email: We use email to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email us content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with email, be aware that all such messages are retained in the logs of yours and our Internet service providers. While it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory, available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the Internet service provider. You should also know that any emails we receive from you and any responses that we send to you become a part of your legal record. For these reasons, we do not use email for any reason other than for administrative purposes.
Websites: Zoom is the tele-mental health video conferencing we will utilize. It is HIPPA compliant and completely free for you to use. At your scheduled appointment time, ensure your computer or mobile device has the camera pointed toward you and direct your browser to the link sent by your therapist. Click to allow the website access to your microphone and camera, and then you are considered to be in the “waiting room.” Simply wait for the therapist to initiate the video session.
If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to your counselor’s attention so that it can be discussed.
Notice of Privacy Practices
What is medical information?
The term “medical information” is synonymous with the terms “personal health information” and “protected health information” for purposes of this Notice. It essentially means any individually identifiable health information (either directly or indirectly identifiable) whether oral or recording in any form or medium, that is created or received by a health care provider (counselor at Wellspring), health plan or others and 2) relates to the past, present or future mental or physical health or condition of an individual (you), the provision of health care (mental health) to an individual (you); or past, present or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual (you).
Wellspring uses therapists (LAC, LPC, LMFT, LCSW, etc) who are professionally trained and licensed by the state of Arkansas. Our staff creates and maintains treatment records that contain individually identifiable health information about you. These records are generally referred to as “medical records” and this notice, amonth other things, concerns the privacy and confidentiality of those records and the information contained therein.
Uses and Disclosures without your authorization – for Treatment, Payment, or HEalth Care Operations Federal Privacy rules (regulations) all healthcare providers (Wellspring counselors) who have a direct treatment relationship with the patient (you) to use or disclose the patient’s personal health information, without the patient’s written authorization, to carry out the health care provider’s own treatment, payment or health care operations. The healthcare provider (Wellspring) may also disclose your protected health information for the treatment of activities of any health care provider. This too can be done without your written authorization.
An example of a use or disclosure for treatment purposes: If the healthcare provider (Wellspring) decides to consult with another licensed health care provider about your condition, I would be permitted to use and disclose your personal health information, which is otherwise confidential, in order to assist me in the diagnosis and treatment of your mental health condition.
Disclosures for treatment purposes are not limited to the minimum necessary standard because physicial and other health care providers need access to the full record and/or full and complete information in order to provide quality care. The word “treatment” includes, amonth other things, the coordination and management of health care among health care providers or by a health care provider with a third party, consultations between health care providers and referrals of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another.
An example of a use or disclosure for payment purposes. If your health plan requests a copy of your health records, or a portion thereof, in order to determine whether or not payment is warranted under the terms of your policy or contract, Wellspring is permitted to use and disclose your personal health information.
An example of a use or disclosure for health care operations purposes. If your health plan decides to audit Wellspring or any of our therapists in order to review our competence and performance or to detect possible fraud or abuse, your mental health records may be used and disclosed for those purposes.
Please note: Your therapist or one of our staff members acting under Wellspring authority, may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatices or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. Your prior written authorization is not required for such contact.
Wellspring may be required or permitted to disclose your personal health information (e.g. mental health records) without your written authorization.
Your rights regarding protected health information
You have the right:
- to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information about you
- to receive confidential communication of protected health information by alternative means
- to inspect and copy protected health information about you by making a specific request in writing
- to amend protected health information in my records by making a request to do so in writing that provides a reason to support the requested amendment
- to receive an accounting from Wellspring of the disclosures of protected health information made by the center in the six years prior to the date on which the accounting was requested
- to obtain a paper copy of this notice from Wellspring upon request
The duties of Wellspring
Wellspring is required by law to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of your personal health information. This notice is intended to let you know of our legal duties, your rights and our privacy practices with respect to such information. We are required to abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect.
At any time, if you believe your privacy rights have been violated you may complain in writing to Wellspring or to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Wellspring will not retaliate against you in any way for filing a complaint against Wellspring, our therapists or with the Secretary.
If you would like other information related to this Notice, or its contents, please feel free to contact Wellspring or discuss it wit your therapist. Wellspring and our staff will do our best to answer questions and to provide you with additional information.