Bishop Wellness Center’s Counseling Services and its providers adhere to state law governing health professions and by our professional ethics as it relates to privileged and confidential information. This confidentiality is important to us, and we imagine it's important to those considering treatment with us as well. Importantly, your medical/counseling records are not a part of your academic record.
It is only with your written consent that information can be released to a particular person(s); parent, family, friend, professors, outside doctors, etc. We cannot confirm to anyone outside of Bishop Wellness Center that a student has (or has not) been seen for a medical or counseling appointment unless we have the student's written consent to do so.
There are a few legal limitations to confidentiality (as follows), but in general, our services are strictly confidential.
If your provider has reason to believe that you present a danger to yourself or others, or learns of the ongoing abuse or neglect of a minor child, an adult (usually elderly) dependent, or a developmentally disabled person, (s)he may be legally compelled to report this information. In addition, confidentiality may not be guaranteed if your records is subpoenaed or requested by court order, or in the course of an investigation of a claim made against the provider. These exceptions to confidentiality are rare, and whenever possible the provider would discuss it with the student in advance of any actions being taken.
Please understand that "presenting a danger to self or others" refers only to cases in which a professional assesses there to be an imminent risk of suicide or homicide. It is not uncommon for students to discuss a wish for the pain to end, a wish for others to disappear, or to engage in self-harming behaviors such as cutting. These are taken very seriously, but we do not equate an acknowledgement of these feelings with an imminent risk of suicidal or homicidal behavior. Students needn't worry that they will forfeit their confidentiality by speaking honestly about how badly they may be feeling.
In most cases, when we are truly concerned about student safety, the student actually provides us their written consent to share this information with a few important others that may be in a position to help. At times, students request that we communicate about their condition with parents, staff, or faculty. In order to do so, we obtain their written consent by asking the student to sign a release form.
As a holistic center dedicated to wellness, our Health and Counseling Center staff consult with one another about shared clients/patients to insure quality service. These discussions are specific and limited. Please ask you provider if you have any questions
If you have any questions about the confidentiality of the information you share with Counseling Services staff, please feel free to ask your provider, or contact Director of Bishop Wellness Center, Don Thomson at (503)370-6471.
We are required by law to protect the privacy of your protected health information (PHI) and to provide you with written notice describing how PHI will be used and disclosed and how you can access this information.
We may use or disclose to others your PHI for purposes of providing or arranging for your health care, the payment for reimbursement of the care that we provided to you, and the related administrative activities supporting your treatment.
We may be required or permitted by certain laws, regulations, or circumstances to use and disclose your PHI for certain purposes without your authorization. Under other circumstances we may need your written authorization (that you may later revoke) in order to use or disclose your PHI.
As our patient, you have important rights relating to inspecting and copying your PHI that we maintain, amending or correcting that information, obtaining an accounting of our disclosures or your PHI, requesting that we communicate with you confidentially, requesting that we restrict certain uses and disclosures of your PHI, and filing a complaint if you think your rights have been violated.
We have available a detailed Notice of Privacy Practices which fully explains your rights and our obligations under the law. We may revise our Notice from time to time. The Effective Date at the bottom of this page indicates the date of the most current Notice in effect.
You have the right to receive a copy of our most current Notice in effect. If you have not yet received a copy of our current Notice, please ask the medical receptionist at the front desk of Bishop Wellness Center and we will provide you with a copy.
If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about this Notice or your PHI, please contact our Director, Don Thomson, at 503-370-6062.
Release of Personal Health Information (PHI)
Under Oregon State law, release of PHI is restricted by Oregon Revised Statutes H.B. 2305. This law specifically states that a valid authorization "must describe the information to be used or disclosed and that identifies the information in a specific and meaningful way." Blanket authorizations to release "any and all identifiable information" and "prospective authorizations to release PHI" do not allow the patient to make an informed decision about releasing specific PHI and are not allowed under law.
What this means for families, parents and students is that students cannot sign a PHI form that allows Bishop Wellness Center staff to talk to parents or families about their medical care over a prolonged or indefinite period of time. Some areas of campus are allowed to do this; however Bishop Wellness Center must comply with all regulations regarding the release of PHI.
Students can sign a release allowing Bishop Wellness Center staff to discuss specific medical issues. If the student seeks care at Bishop Wellness Center and there is an emergency situation present, staff may notify the person listed as an emergency contact. However, if the student seeks care at the emergency room or with another medical provider, emergency contact notification must be done by that facility.
Bishop Wellness Center encourages students to be in direct contact with their parents or families about their health situation.
*Note: Parents or families can contact the Bishop Wellness Center to provide student medical information, but Bishop Wellness Center can't provide student information without a signed release from the student.