Online Counseling HIPAA NoticeHealth Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)

 

I. 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.

 

II. I HAVE A LEGAL DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI)

TherapyStudio.Live and associated providers are legally required to protect the privacy of your PHI, which includes information that can be used to identify you that we’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 our practice; PHI is “disclosed” when it is released, transferred, has been given to, or is otherwise divulged to a third party outside of our 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 are legally required to follow the privacy practices described in this Notice.

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

 

III. HOW I MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PHI

We may use and disclose your PHI for many different reasons. For most of these uses or disclosures, we will need your prior written authorization; for others, however, we do not. Listed below are the different categories of our uses and disclosures along with some examples of each category.

  1. Uses and Disclosures Relating to Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations Do Not Require Your Prior Written Consent. TherapyStudio.Live can use and disclose your PHI without your consent for the following reasons:
    1. For Treatment. we can use your PHI within our practice to provide you with mental health treatment, including discussing or sharing your PHI with a supervisor. We can disclose your PHI to physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other licensed health care providers who provide you with health care services or are involved in your care. For example, if a psychiatrist is treating you, we can disclose your PHI to your psychiatrist to coordinate your care.
    2. To Obtain Payment for Treatment. we can use and disclose your PHI to bill and collect payment for the treatment and services provided by our providers to you. For example, we might send your PHI to your insurance company or health plan to get paid for the health care services that we have provided to you. we may also provide your PHI to my business associates, such as billing companies, claims processing companies, collection agencies, and others that process our health care claims.
    3. For Health Care Operations. we can use and disclose your PHI to operate our practice. For example, we might use your PHI to evaluate the quality of health care services that you received or to evaluate the performance of the health care professionals who provided such services to you. We may also provide your PHI to my accountant, attorney, consultants, or others to further our health care operations.
    4. Patient Incapacitation or Emergency. We may also disclose your PHI to others without your consent if you are incapacitated or if an emergency exists. For example, your consent isn’t required if you need emergency treatment, as long as we try to get your consent after treatment is rendered, or if we try to get your consent but you are unable to communicate with us (for example, if you are unconscious or in severe pain) and we think that you would consent to such treatment if you were able to do so.
  1. Certain Other Uses and Disclosures Also Do Not Require Your Consent or Authorization. we can use and disclose your PHI without your consent or authorization for the following reasons:
    1. When federal, state, or local laws require disclosure. For example, we may have to make a disclosure to applicable governmental officials when a law requires us to report information to government agencies and law enforcement personnel about victims of abuse or neglect.
    2. When judicial or administrative proceedings require disclosure. For example, if you are involved in a lawsuit or a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, we may have to use or disclose your PHI in response to a court or administrative order. We may also have to use or disclose your PHI in response to a subpoena.
    3. When law enforcement requires disclosure. For example, we may have to use or disclose your PHI in response to a search warrant.
    4. When public health activities require disclosure. For example, we may have to use or disclose your PHI to report to a government official an adverse reaction that you have to a medication.
    5. When health oversight activities require disclosure. For example, we may have to provide information to assist the government in conducting an investigation or inspection of a health care provider or organization.
    6. To avert a serious threat to health or safety. For example, we may have to use or disclose your PHI to avert a serious threat to the health or safety of others. However, any such disclosures will only be made to someone able to prevent the threatened harm from occurring.
    7. For specialized government functions. If you are in the military, we may have to use or disclose your PHI for national security purposes, including protecting the President of the United States or conducting intelligence operations.
    8. To remind you about appointments and to inform you of health-related benefits or services. For example, we may have to use or disclose your PHI to remind you about your appointments, or to give you information about treatment alternatives, other health care services, or other health care benefits that we offer that may be of interest to you.
  2. Certain Uses and Disclosures Require You to Have the Opportunity to Object.
    1. Disclosures to Family, Friends, or Others. We may provide your PHI to a family member, friend, or other person that you indicate is involved in your care or the payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part. The opportunity to consent may be obtained retroactively in emergency situations.
  3. Other Uses and Disclosures Require Your Prior Written Authorization. In any other situation not described in sections III A, B, and C above, we will need your written authorization before using or disclosing any of your PHI. If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose your PHI, you can later revoke such authorization in writing to stop any future uses and disclosures (to the extent that I haven’t taken any action in reliance on such authorization) of your PHI by our providers.

IV. WHAT RIGHTS YOU HAVE REGARDING YOUR PHI

You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:

  1. The Right to Request Restrictions on Our Uses and Disclosures. You have the right to request restrictions or limitations on our 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 us in writing. we will consider your requests, but are not legally required to accept them. If we do accept your requests, we will put them in writing and will abide by them, except in emergency situations. However, be advised, that you may not limit the uses and disclosures that we are legally required to make.
  2. The Right to Choose How I Send PHI to You. You have the right to request that I 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). I 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. I 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 have on you, but you must make the request to inspect and copy such information in writing. If I don’t have your PHI but I 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, our reasons for the denial and explain your right to have the 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 I Have Made. You have the right to receive a list of instances, i.e., an Accounting of Disclosures, in which I have disclosed your PHI. The list will not include disclosures made for our 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. We 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.The 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 our 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 or electronically.

V. HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES

If you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision 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 our privacy practices.

VI. 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 our 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: (415) 857-2160.

VII. EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE

This notice went into effect on November 1, 2018.

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 psychotherapy records.

  1. Permission from the patient is no longer required for transfer of psychotherapy 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 without patient 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 psychotherapy 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 HIPAA PRIVACY POLICIES AND THE INFORMATION PROVIDED.