Client Information & Therapeutic Confidentiality

Massachusetts law (Chapter 112) and Federal law (45 CFR; HIPAA, 1996) require that you are advised regarding how personal information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.

The clinical team and staff at Falmouth Human Services Department are committed to protecting the privacy of your identity and personal information. All communications between a client and clinical team as well as all individually identifiable health information are strictly confidential. Your specific written permission is needed for the release of any information to another individual or agency. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule according to Massachusetts and Federal law:

  • If your therapist believes that a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person is being abused – in which case a report must be filed with an appropriate state agency.
  • If, in the therapist’s professional judgment, a client is threatening serious harm to another person, the therapist is required to take protective actions, which may include notifying the potential victim(s), notifying the police, or seeking the client’s hospitalization.
  • If a client threatens to harm him/herself, the therapist may be required to seek hospitalization for him/her.
  • If you are under eighteen years of age, please be aware that while the specific content of your communications will remain confidential, your parents have a legal right to receive general information about how your treatment is proceeding.
  • Finally, in an administrative or judicial proceeding, your therapist may be required to comply with a court-ordered subpoena.

Your Rights

  • You have the right to view, request corrections, and ask for a copy of the information in your clinical record.
  • In the event of an accidental breach of privacy, you will be notified by mail at the most recent address provided to Falmouth Human Services Department.
  • You may ask for an accounting of all disclosures of your personal information by Falmouth Human Services Department.
  • You may revoke your authorization to use or disclose clinical information except in cases where information has already been used or disclosed upon your previous authorization.
  • You have the right to specify how you would like to be contacted by our agency (phone, mail, voice mail, etc.) in order to ensure your confidentiality.
  • You have the right to file a complaint regarding the privacy practices of Falmouth Human Services with the director of Falmouth Human Services and/or the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services at 202-619-0257.

If at any time you have questions about our services, policies, procedures, or confidentiality, please ask your therapist or any of our staff.