According to HIPAA expert Nancy Wheeler J.D., of the American Counseling Association, when sending PHI (Personal Health Information) by email – and this is likely to include any email that identifies the recipient as a client / patient of a counseling practice, a counselor may use email only if a client has been advices of the risks and unsecured nature of email communication and still requests the use of email communication.

Note: the above description for email communication applies to normal “unencrypted” email communication. Encrypted email communications may not necessitate any of the above disclosures or agreement from clients, if the encryption meets standards acceptable my HIPAA, including 128 bit encryption.

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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."