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HIPAA Policy

Protecting your private information is of paramount importance to us

By using this site, you agree to this NOTICE of PRIVACY PRACTICES

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

We have a legal duty to safeguard your protected health information (PHI)

I am legally required to protect the privacy of your PHI, which includes information that can be used to identify you that I’ve created or received about your past, present, or future health or condition, the provision of health care to you, or the payment of this health care. we must provide you with this Notice about my privacy practices, and such Notice must explain how, when, and why we will “use” and “disclose” your PHI.

A “use” of PHI occurs when we share, examine, utilize, apply, or analyze such information within my practice; PHI is “disclosed” when it is released, transferred, has been given to, or is otherwise divulged to a third party outside of my practice. With some exceptions, we may not use or disclose any more of your PHI than is necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the use or disclosure is made. And, we am legally required to follow the privacy practices described in this Notice.

However, we reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and my privacy policies at any time. Any changes will apply to PHI on file with me already. Before we make any important changes to my policies, we will promptly change this Notice and post a new copy of it in my office and on my website. You can also request a copy of this Notice from me, or you can view a copy of it in my office.

How we may use and disclose your PHI

Information you share in your psychotherapy sessions is confidential and may not be disclosed without your written permission, with the exception of the following circumstances:

  1. Reasonable suspicion of child, dependent adult, or elder abuse/neglect.
  2. Intent to harm self or others, or are gravely disabled (unable to provide food, shelter, or clothing for yourself).
  3. Subpoenas and court orders. Disclosure may be required if you place your mental status at issue in a litigation initiated by you.
  4. I will obtain a release of information to share confidential information with your health insurance provider in order to process claims. Unless authorized by you explicitly, psychotherapy notes will not be released to your insurance carrier. (This is distinct from psychotherapy treatment records, however, which I may be obligated to release without client consent under HIPAA regulations.) Note that I have no control or knowledge of what insurance companies do with the information submitted or who has access to the information. Be aware that submitting a mental health invoice for reimbursement carries a certain amount of risk to confidentiality, privacy, or to future eligibility to obtain health or life insurance.
  5. I share non-identifying client/patient information with consultants and in case conferences with professional therapists as permitted by law. I keep limited treatment, billing, and appointment records for each session, which are held under multiple security layers in compliance with HIPAA standards.

What rights you have regarding your PHI

You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:

  1. The Right to Request Restrictions on My Uses and Disclosures. You have the right to request restrictions or limitations on my uses or disclosures of your PHI to carry out my treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request that we restrict or limit disclosures of your PHI to family members or friends or others involved in your care or who are financially responsible for your care. Please submit such requests to me in writing. we will consider your requests, but we am not legally required to accept them. If we do accept your requests, we will put them in writing and we will abide by them, except in emergency situations. However, be advised, that you may not limit the uses and disclosures that we am legally required to make.
  2. The Right to Choose How we Send PHI to You. You have the right to request that we send confidential information to you to at an alternate address (for example, sending information to your work address rather than your home address) or by alternate means (for example, e-mail instead of regular mail). we must agree to your request so long as it is reasonable and you specify how or where you wish to be contacted, and, when appropriate, you provide me with information as to how payment for such alternate communications will be handled. we may not require an explanation from you as to the basis of your request as a condition of providing communications on a confidential basis.
  3. The Right to Inspect and Copy of Your PHI. In most cases, you have the right to inspect and copy the PHI that we that we have on you, but you must make the request to inspect and copy such information in writing. If we don’t have your PHI but we know who does, we will tell you how to get it. we will respond to your request within 30 days of receiving your written request. In certain situations, we may deny your request. If we do, we will tell you, in writing, my reasons for the denial and explain your right to have my denial reviewed. If you request copies of your PHI, we will charge you not more than $.25 for each page. Instead of providing the PHI you requested, we may provide you with a summary or explanation of the PHI as long as you agree to that and to the cost in advance.
  4. The Right to Receive a List of the Disclosures we Have Made. You have the right to receive a list of instances, i.e., an Accounting of Disclosures, in which we have disclosed your PHI. The list will not include disclosures made for my treatment, payment, or health care operations; disclosures made to you; disclosures you authorized; disclosures incident to a use or disclosure permitted or required by the federal privacy rule; disclosures made for national security or intelligence; disclosures made to correctional institutions or law enforcement personnel; or, disclosures made before April 14, 2003.I will respond to your request for an Accounting of Disclosures within 60 days of receiving such request. The list we will give you will include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. The list will include the date the disclosure was made, to whom the PHI was disclosed (including their address, if known), a description of the information disclosed, and the reason for the disclosure. we will provide the list to you at no charge, but if you make more than one request in the same year, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for each additional request.
  5. The Right to Amend Your PHI. If you believe that there is a mistake in your PHI or that a piece of important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information. You must provide the request and your reason for the request in writing. we will respond within 60 days of receiving your request to correct or update your PHI. we may deny your request in writing if the PHI is (i) correct and complete, (ii) not created by me, (iii) not allowed to be disclosed, or (iv) not part of my records.My written denial will state the reasons for the denial and explain your right to file a written statement of disagreement with the denial. If you don’t file one, you have the right to request that your request and my denial be attached to all future disclosures of your PHI. If we approve your request, we will make the change to your PHI, tell you that we have done it, and tell others that need to know about the change to your PHI.
  6. The Right to Receive a Paper Copy of this Notice. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice even if you have agreed to receive it via e-mail.

How to complain about our privacy practices

If you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your PHI, you may file a complaint with the person listed in Section Vl below. You also may send a written complaint to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201. we will take no retaliatory action against you if you file a complaint about my privacy practices.

Person to contact for information about this notice or to complain about my privacy practices

If you have any questions about this notice or any complaints about my privacy practices, or would like to know how to file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, please contact me at: (323) 332‑1655.

Effective date of this notice

This notice went into effect on July 1, 2024.

New HIPAA (health insurance portability and accountability act) privacy standards were created to protect patients’ health information when it is disclosed but also to facilitate the flow of medical information between providers. With other medical providers and for safety or security reasons, there is less protection of confidentiality than there used to be. However, in other areas, there is more privacy protection. Please read the following so that you understand your rights as a patient as well of the new rules about patient confidentiality. Feel free to ask about privacy, confidentiality, or psychiatric records.

  1. Permission from the patient is no longer required for transfer of psychiatric and medical information between providers as long as only the necessary information is supplied. This means that if your primary care doctor, pharmacist, or an emergency room physician calls to find out if you (or your child) are in treatment, what the diagnosis is, or what medications you (or your child) are on, we can convey this information if it is medically relevant to your (or your child’s) treatment with them. In practice, we will almost always discuss this with you personally before or after the fact, depending on the urgency and depth of the request. If you think this might present a problem for you let us know ahead of time.
  2. Remember that if all the psychiatric records are requested, a treatment summary is usually given instead, except if the treatment consists solely of psychopharmacological treatment or brief medication visits. While brief medication visits fall under HIPAA guidelines, psychotherapy visits are specifically excluded, meaning authorization from the patient is still required for release of information in those notes and a summary is given in place of the record.
  3. The substance abuse records from alcohol and drug programs are exempt from any disclosure with outpatient permission. If you (or your child) are admitted to a treatment program for substance abuse be sure to sign a release so that we can talk to the providers and obtain a discharge summary and lab data upon discharge. Without this we cannot obtain any information.
  4. We may have to disclose some psychiatric information when required to do so by law without your consent. This includes mandated reporting of child/elder abuse and cases of legal order or subpoena.
  5. National security and public health issues. We may be required to disclose certain information to military authorities or federal health officials if it is required for lawful intelligence, public health safety, or public security.

By using this site, you acknowledge having read this HIPPS form and the information provided.