No matter how confidential the recovery process is, there will always be a stigma against people struggling with substance abuse. Naturally, it can make people skeptical about choosing what’s actually right for them. If you’re worried about other people finding out about your addiction issues, here’s everything you need to know about treatment programs and privacy before making a decision.
What Is Covered Under ‘HIPAA Privacy Rules?’
The confidentiality protection begins from the moment you apply for the treatment. But more specifically, the HIPAA Privacy Rules cover the following:
- Inquiries – When you call up the drug addiction treatment facilities to get a general idea about their services and offerings.
- Enrollment details – When you register with a specific center for a particular recovery program.
- Your identity – As a patient, neither your name nor address nor any other contact details can be revealed.
- The treatment center – Nobody has access to the name, address, or contact details of the facility that you’ve enrolled in.
The rules are so strict that even the enrollment team isn’t allowed to share details of your program among themselves. In fact, they’re made to sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent any breach of information.
What Isn’t Covered Under ‘HIPAA Privacy Rules?’
Since none of your details are allowed to be shared or made public, the only thing that’s left is the unique identification code or patient number that’s assigned to every enrollment form. Just like any blind test, only this number is used to track your application. This also allows the government to distinguish your form between the lot.
How To Inform Your Employer
It’s understandably difficult to share details about your addiction with your employer. But the good news is that you don’t have to. The law recognizes the pitfalls of letting an organization know about your issues with drug and alcohol abuse. You can possibly lose your job or end up ruining your reputation because not everybody can be okay with it.
In that case, you can get a medical certificate from a licensed medical professional under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which you can produce in front of your employer. This will allow you to take time off of work for medical reasons while maintaining your privacy and without losing your job or disclosing the details of your absence.
Will The Insurance Providers Know?
Although the insurance providers will have access to your personal details for processing the insurance cover, they won’t be allowed to share it with anyone – including other providers – unless you give consent to it in writing. And they have to comply because if they’re found to be violating the privacy law, they can be penalized for a breach of information and the company can even be shut down.
When Can Programs Disclose Your Information?
The addiction program centers can only disclose the information when you consent to it in writing. This may be required for payment and treatment purposes. Even then, you’re in complete control of your information because you can choose to revoke the consent anytime you wish, so no one can misuse your permission.
What does the consent form include?
- Name or designation of the program authority
- Name or title of the individual of the organization that needs access to the information
- Name of the organization to which disclosure is being made
- Name of the patient
- Purpose of disclosure
- How much and what kind of information do you want to disclose?
- Signature of patient or guardian
- The date on which consent is signed
- A statement that the consent can be revoked at any time (except to the extent that the program has already acted on it)
- Date, event, or condition upon which the consent will expire if not revoked
Exceptions To The Rule
Signing the consent form won’t be necessary if the patient:
- is a minor
- can’t give consent for some reason
- can harm themselves
- is ordered by the court
- commits a crime on the recovery center property
In essence and in any other case, your information will always be protected by the law.
How To Find A Recovery Center That Protects Privacy
You can’t get healthier and lead a better life if you aren’t comfortable with the process. Privacy shouldn’t be a luxury, it’s a necessity. And here’s how you can find it.
- Privately funded
Public therapy sessions are usually low-cost or free programs. They only offer group sessions, which is why they’re less confidential than the privately funded programs.
Because privately funded programs charge you directly, their aim is to help you get better than making the program available to as many people as possible.
Besides, privately funded recovery centers also have a low patient to staff ratio, so you enjoy complete and undivided support from a team of professionals.
Since a licensed drug addiction treatment center will operate as per the HIPAA Privacy Rules, you won’t have to look too carefully before you leap. You can sign up for the program knowing that you’re in safe hands.
- Secluded yet accessible
If you don’t want people to know where you’re going or have been, it’s better to opt for a treatment facility that may be located far from the hustle and bustle of the city. And while you’re at it, make sure that your center is accessible so that your loved ones can come and visit you whenever possible.
- Individualized therapy sessions
Nothing can be more private than having one-on-one sessions with your therapist. Individualized therapy sessions provide you with the opportunity to open up to your primary therapist and accountability partner in a safe space without the fear of being judged.
Since we understand the importance of privacy, Scottsdale Recovery Center offers you an excellent residential addiction treatment program tailor-made for you. We help you stay the course while keeping you away from stress and distractions, so you can enjoy better emotional and mental support throughout your recovery journey.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.