Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–1201.01. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter:

(1) “Administrative information” means a client’s name, age, sex, address, identifying number or numbers, dates and character of sessions (individual or group), and fees.

(2) “Client” means any individual who receives or has received professional services from a mental health professional in a professional capacity.

(3) “Client representative” means an individual specifically authorized by the client in writing or by the court as the legal representative of that client.

(4) “Data collector” means a person other than the client, mental health professional and mental health facility who regularly engages, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or evaluating client mental health information.

(5) “Diagnostic information” means a therapeutic characterization which is of the type that is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association or any comparable professionally recognized diagnostic manual.

(6) “Disclose” means to communicate any information in any form (written, oral or recorded).

(7) “Group session” means the provision of professional services jointly to more than 1 client in a mental health facility.

(8) “Insurance transaction” means whenever a decision (be it adverse or otherwise) is rendered regarding an individual’s eligibility for an insurance benefit or service.

(8A) “Joint consent” means a process established by the Department of Mental Health pursuant to § 7-1131.14(6) to enable all participating providers to rely on a single form in which a consumer of mental health services consents to the use of his or her protected mental health information by participating providers in the Department of Mental Health’s organized health care arrangement, for the purposes of delivering treatment, obtaining payment for services and supports rendered, and performing certain administrative operations, such as quality assurance, utilization review, accreditation, and oversight.

(9) “Mental health information” means any written, recorded or oral information acquired by a mental health professional in attending a client in a professional capacity which:

(A) Indicates the identity of a client; and

(B) Relates to the diagnosis or treatment of a client’s mental or emotional condition.

(10) “Mental health facility” means any hospital, clinic, office, nursing home, infirmary, provider as defined in § 7-1131.02(27), or similar entity where professional services are provided.

(11) “Mental health professional” means any of the following persons engaged in the provision of professional services:

(A) A person licensed to practice medicine;

(B) A person licensed to practice psychology;

(C) A licensed social worker;

(D) A professional marriage, family, or child counselor;

(E) A sexual assault counselor, as that term is defined in § 23-1907(10), who is under the supervision of a licensed social worker, nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist;

(F) A licensed nurse who is a professional psychiatric nurse; or

(G) Any person reasonably believed by the client to be a mental health professional within the meaning of subparagraphs (A) through (F) of this paragraph.

(11A) “Organized health care arrangement” means an organized system of health care in which more than one provider participates, and in which the participating providers hold themselves out to the public as participating in a joint arrangement, and either:

(A) Participate in joint activities that include utilization review under Chapter 8 of Title 44, in which health care decisions by participating providers are reviewed by other participating providers or by a third party on their behalf; or

(B) Participate in quality assessment and improvement activities under Chapter 8 of Title 44, in which mental health services or mental health supports provided by participating providers are assessed by other participating providers or by a third party on their behalf.

(11B) “Participating provider” means a provider of mental health services or mental health supports who, through participation in the joint consent promulgated by the Department of Mental Health pursuant to § 7-1131.14(6), joins the organized health care arrangement created by the Department of Mental Health.

(12) “Person” means any governmental organization or agency or part thereof, individual, firm, partnership, copartnership, association or corporation.

(13) “Personal notes” means mental health information regarding a client which is limited to:

(A) Mental health information disclosed to the mental health professional in confidence by other persons on condition that such information not be disclosed to the client or other persons; and

(B) The mental health professional’s speculations.

(14) “Professional services” means any form of diagnosis or treatment relating to a mental or emotional condition that is provided by a mental health professional.

(15) “Third-party payor” means any person who provides accident and sickness benefits or medical, surgical or hospital benefits whether on an indemnity, reimbursement, service or prepaid basis, including, but not limited to, insurance carriers, governmental agencies and employers.