All records with regard to a student’s contact with the WMCC for access to mental health treatment and/or services are considered a part of their health record and are confidential. Information regarding contact with our center will not be disclosed to anyone outside of the Counseling Center without the client’s written authorization to release the information except as mandated or allowed under Virginia law. In situations where an exception to confidentiality protection may exist, the counselor will make an effort to discuss the circumstances and procedures for the disclosure with the client and enlist the client’s assistance in resolution of the situation. No request for records will be fulfilled without a HIPPA compliant form properly signed by and verified with the identity of the student. The form must be witnessed by someone who is not a blood relative. A copy of our Consent to Release Information form is available here or from our receptionist and is required to ensure we are meeting the standards of practice and law regarding your confidential information. Signed release forms must be notarized or witnessed and submitted via regular mailed to the Counseling Center with an original signature if you are unable to complete the form in person.
All requests for the release of confidential information should be managed by the clinician of record at the time of the request in accordance with the policies, ethics, and laws governing the release of such information. If there is no clinician of record at the time of the request the Clinical Director should manage those requests. All subpoenas should be referred to the Clinical Director or Director. Requests will be fulfilled in accordance with the law which provides for the timely and appropriate response. In order to ensure proper handling of records, responses may take up to 15 days and will not be provided on demand. Responses to requests for information contained in a confidential record will be delivered in person, via fax or via USPS due to our inability to ensure the security of email.
For more information on the Law on Patient Health Records see the Code of Virginia § 32.1-127.1:03 - Health records privacy.