- If your therapist asks you to sign a release of information, make sure you know why. Only sign a form that releases specific information to specific people for specific purposes, and is time-limited. For your own safety, never sign a completely open-ended release.
- Releases should prohibit the information from being re-released without your authorization – although you can’t really control whether someone re-releases your information or not.
- HIPAA (the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act LINK to) limits who can see information about your health care, mental health or substance abuse treatment. For instance, if sending information to you at home might put you in danger, HIPAA gives you the right to ask to receive calls or mail somewhere else. You can also ask that information about you – including bills – not be shared with your abusive partner.
- If you are in substance abuse treatment, New York State regulations also require strict confidentiality of information about your identity, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Release of information forms must be as specific as possible, so that you know who is receiving the information. They must also specify an expiration date.