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Confidentiality and Privacy

Confidentiality

Use of services and personal information shared by a client with his or her counselor is confidential in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), South Carolina Code of Laws, and professional ethics codes. No information is released to parties, outside of Counseling Services for purposes of care, without a client’s written permission. Under these provisions, University administrators, faculty, family members, law enforcement officials, potential employers and others have no access to any of our clients’ records without the client’s written permission.

Please note that the following exceptions to confidentiality apply:

  • Information may be shared with a clinical supervisor and/or peer consultation group.
  • If you have signed an Authorization for Disclosure Form allowing disclosure of information to a third party.
  • If it is a counselor’s judgment that there is a substantial risk that a client will do physical harm to themselves in the near future, it is the counselor’s duty to take steps to protect the client’s safety.
  • If it is a counselor’s judgment that there is a substantial risk that a client will do physical harm to an identifiable other person (or persons) in the near future, the counselor will take steps to protect the safety of the endangered person (or persons).
  • If information is shared with a counselor indicating that a child or dependent adult is currently being abused, state law requires that the information is reported to the Department of Social Services serving the area where the child or dependent adult lives.
  • If ordered to do so by a judge as part of judicial proceedings, Counseling Services may release information contained in your counseling record.
 

Notice of Privacy Practices

In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was endorsed by the U.S. Congress as a result of the American public's concern about how patient health information was stored, accessed, disclosed and shared. The HIPAA Privacy Rule provided the first nationally-recognized and enforced set of regulations concerning the use and disclosure of what is commonly called “protected health information.”

HIPAA requires all healthcare professionals and those with access to patient data to operate within strict standards to safeguard protected health information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services enforces HIPAA law and imposes penalties on institutions that do not make good-faith efforts to ensure the privacy and security of protected health information.

Counseling Services operates in strict adherence to HIPAA laws and regulations. HIPAA requirements are incorporated into policies and procedures department-wide, and are a vital, required component of new employee and annual staff refresher training.

Counseling Services’ Notice of Privacy Practices form details the organization’s maintenance of medical information as required by law, and use and disclosure of that information to the extent necessary to provide high quality healthcare.

Included in the Notice of Privacy Practices is detailed information about how patients can:

  • Obtain a copy of their health information.
  • Request that Counseling Services amend health information in their patient records.
  • Receive an accounting of certain disclosures made of their health information.
  • Request that Counseling Services restrict the use and disclosure of their health information.
  • Request information regarding how Counseling Services may contact them about medical matters.
  • Receive notification of how Counseling Services may use protected health information.

The Notice of Privacy Practices is available to download. In addition to the electronic version, a hard copy of this notice is available upon request to students in the Counseling Services lobby. It is also posted in a common area of the Counseling Services lobby.

 

If you wish to report a privacy concern, please email the Privacy Officer at lpuckett-boler@uscupstate.edu.

 

For more information, please visit: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html.

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Office Hours
Spartanburg (main campus)
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Greenville campus
By appointment

Counseling Resources
Mission Statement
Confidentiality Agreement
Meet Our Staff

Graduate Student Internship
Notice of Privacy Practices
Authorization for Disclosure Form

Workshops
Educational Workshops
Request a Workshop

Additional Information
Recognizing Emotional Distress
Off-Campus Resource Guide
Student Affairs Incident Report Form

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Contact Us 

USC Upstate
Counseling Services
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303 

Faculty/Staff Directory