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Confidentiality of Patient Records for Alcohol and Drug Treatment

When you pay with insurance, there's always a paper trail that leads directly to you.

Confidentiality of Patient Records for Alcohol and Drug TreatmentDespite decades of progress, substance use is still stigmatized as a personal failure and defined as a lifelong disease. Those are unfair stereotypes, because no matter how or what you used, continued use is a behavior you don't have to choose. However, this negativity keeps some people from seeking outside help. They don't want their colleagues and friends to know about their habits, or they don't know how to explain their absence, so they avoid getting help altogether. Unfortunately, these concerns aren't completely unfounded.

In rehabs and 12-Step programs, there are certain requirements and treatment methods that are actually impossible to complete without losing some amount of privacy. At Freedom Model Retreats, we never use 12 Step or rehab program methods nor do we bill insurance for treatment, as we aren't a treatment program at all. With our self-directed approach of Cognitive Behavioral Learning (CBL), you retain full control over your personal information and privacy. Learn how we handle your privacy and confidentiality needs and why that distinguishes us from treatment options.


In detox and rehab facilities, your patient files fall under the same legal protections as any other medical record. However, even when facilities adhere to confidentiality laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), there are exceptions and "loopholes" that give outsiders access. People who have to gain access to your records to do their job, such as medical coders, insurance reviewers, and processing staff must look at your files. Court orders may overrule some privacy rights, and bribes can encourage shady staff members to leak records.

One important reason for opting for a private pay option for your substance use program is records are kept to a minimum. At Freedom Model Retreats, we aren't trying to justify treatment-based services to an insurance company for reimbursement so our staff isn't shorting their time working with you to produce medical records. 12 Step programs and rehabs who take insurance need to have their staff schedule time to write plans of correction and therapy notes. Our time is spent working along with you on the goals you decide –not on goals imposed on you to authorize payment.

At Freedom Model, your text, workbooks, and any notes you make remain in your possession at all times. We don't fill out paperwork or make copies of anything you write. You may enjoy the release and symbolism of burning or shredding your records before leaving or you may want to keep your text and workbooks to document your journey and review whenever you wish.


Insurance claims create additional confidentiality threats because your insurance company will want details before approving coverage. Your medical files can change hands multiple times along the way, making your personal details available to receptionists, insurance coders, intake processors, office managers, and many more.

At Freedom Model, we only accept private payments so we skip these complications altogether. No third party will receive your payment records and there are no treatment records to be divulged. Our decision to do so minimizes the "paper trail" that could otherwise be followed by police, requested by employers, or subpoenaed by a judge.


If you haven't participated in a 12 Step or rehab program before, you've probably seen an example of group meetings on TV. Substance users introduce themselves and share their stories with strangers. Some attend these meetings on a daily or weekly basis for decades, believing they depend on this ritual to maintain their sobriety. The vast majority take the promise of anonymity very seriously, but if you're a public figure, these meetings increase the career-related risk that someone will buy or sell your story.

Freedom Model's programs are self-directed—your plan is always in your hands. We don't have group meetings or therapy for you to attend. No subtle or overt coercion is used to make you share your story, bare your soul, or take on damaging identity labels like addict, alcoholic, or junkie. No one but you will decide when— or if — to tell your story at all.

If a self-directed transformational program sounds like a good fit for you, if privacy and confidentiality are of paramount importance to you, or if you just want to learn more about a revolutionary program where you're in charge of your change, call today and speak to one of our Family Consultants to find out if Freedom Model Retreats is for you.


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