All aspects of your participation in counseling at the Counseling Center, including the scheduling of appointments, contents of counseling sessions, all contents of counseling records and outcomes of counseling are confidential by state law. A confidential record of the counseling services provided to you will be maintained by the Counseling Center, as required by state law. If you are participating in couple’s counseling, a separate record is kept for each individual, and all confidentiality policies apply independently to each record. Only the specific individual may have access to his or her file. If you are participating in group counseling, group notes are kept and distributed to each individual file, and all confidential policies apply independently to the notes for each individual. An individual may have access only to her or his independent notes. Your counseling record consists of both paper file and electronic database components. All parts of your record are highly secured, physically and/or electronically, and are protected by the same confidentiality and privacy laws.
The Counseling Center operates as a single entity, which means that counselors and psychologists within the Counseling Center may share your information in order to consult with each other, and/or with the campus psychiatrists who are under contract with the Counseling Center, in order to provide you the most effective services. Only professional counseling staff may access clinical progress notes, test data, or other clinical information in your file. Support staff may have access only to contact and demographic information and diagnostic codes for the purposes of statistical tracking and reports. No record of counseling is made on an academic transcript or job placement file. Ownership of all physical records is retained by the Counseling Center, which is responsible for establishing policies regarding the retention of counseling records. No information may be released to anyone without your written permission, with the following exceptions.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
This notice describes how psychological and medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review the documents below carefully.
The Texas State Counseling Center (CC) staff may use or disclose your protected health information (PHI) for treatment, payment and health care purposes with your consent.
Counseling Center staff may use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment and health care operations when your appropriate authorization is obtained. An authorization is written permission above and beyond general consent that permits only specific disclosures. We will obtain an authorization form from you before releasing information for purposes outside of treatment and health care operations. You may revoke all such authorizations at any time, provided each revocation is in writing. You may not revoke an authorization to the extent that it has already been relied upon in releasing PHI.
CC staff may use or disclose PHI without your consent or authorization in the following circumstances:
Counseling Center’s Duties:
If you have questions about this notice, disagree with a decision that is made about access to your records, or have other concerns about your privacy rights, you may contact the Texas State Counseling Center Privacy Officer at 512-245-2208. If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated and wish to file a complaint with the CC, you may send or deliver your written complaint to:
Privacy Officer, Counseling Center
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666.
You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Privacy Officer can provide you with the appropriate address upon request. You have specific rights under the Privacy Rule. CC staff will not retaliate against you for exercising your right to file a complaint.
This notice will go into effect on September 1, 2003.