THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Uses and Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations
I may use or disclose your protect health information (PHI), for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations purposes with your consent. To help clarify these terms, here are some definitions:
“PHI” refers to information in your health record that could identify you. It includes information about your reasons for seeking therapy, a description of the ways in which your problem impacts on your life, your diagnosis, the goals that we set for treatment, your progress towards those goals, your medical and social history, your treatment history, any past treatment records that your doctor receives from other providers, reports of any professional consultations, your billing records, and any reports that have been sent to anyone, including reports to your insurance carrier.
“Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations”
Treatment is when I provide, coordinate or manage your health care and other services related to your health care. An example of treatment would be when I consult with another healthcare provider, such as your family physician, another psychologist or psychiatrist.
Payment is when I obtain reimbursement for your healthcare.
Health Care Operations are activities that relate to the performance and operation of this practice. Examples of health care operations are quality assessment and improvement activities, business-related matters such as audits and administrative services, and case management and care coordination.
“Use” applies only to activities within this office and practice, such as releasing, transferring or providing access to information about you to other parties.
“Disclosure” applies to activities outside of this office and practice, such as releasing, transferring, or providing access to information about you to other parties. An example of disclosure would be talking to a teacher or guidance counselor about a child or teenage patient.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization
I may use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment, payment, and health care operations when your appropriate authorization is obtained. An "authorization" is written permission above and beyond the general consent that permits only specific disclosures.
In those instances when I am asked for information for purposes outside of treatment, payment and health care operations, I will obtain an authorization from you before releasing this information. I will also need to obtain an authorization for PHI in any way that is not described in this notice.
“Psychotherapy Notes” are notes I have made about our conversation during a private, group, joint, or family counseling session. These notes are given a greater degree of protection than PHI. While the contents of Psychotherapy Notes vary from client to client, they can include the contents of conversations, analysis of these conversations, and how they impact on your therapy. They contain particularly sensitive information that you may reveal to me that is not required to be included in your PHI. These Psychotherapy Notes are kept separate from your PHI. Your Psychotherapy Notes are not available to you and cannot be sent to anyone else, including insurance companies and attorneys, without your written, signed authorization. At my discretion this information could only be released with your written, signed Authorization.
You may revoke all such authorizations of PHI (or psychotherapy notes) at any time, provided each revocation is in writing. You may not revoke an authorization to the extent that (1) I have relied on that authorization; or (2) if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage, and the law provides the insurer the right to contest the claim under the policy.
Uses and Disclosures with Neither Consent nor Authorization
I may use or disclose PHI without your consent or authorization in the following circumstances:
If I know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver or other person responsible for the child's welfare, the law requires that I report such knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Department of Child and Family Services.
Adult and Domestic Abuse:
If I know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable adult (disabled or elderly) has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited, I am required by law to immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the Central Abuse Hotline.
If a complaint is filed against me with the Florida Department of Health on behalf of the Board of Psychology, the Department has the authority to subpoena confidential mental health information from me relevant to that complaint.
Judicial or Administrative Proceedings:
If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information about your diagnosis or treatment and the records thereof, such information is privileged under state law, and I will not release information without the written authorization of you or your legal representative, or a subpoena of which you have been properly notified and you have failed to inform me that you are opposing the subpoena or a court order. The privilege does not apply when you are being evaluated for a third party or where the evaluation is court ordered. You will be informed in advance if this is the case.
Serious Threat to Health or Safety:
When you present a clear and immediate probability of physical harm to yourself, to other individuals, or to society, I may communicate relevant information concerning this to the potential victim, appropriate family member, or law enforcement or other appropriate authorities.
If you file a worker's compensation claim, I must, upon request of your employer, the insurance carrier, an authorized qualified rehabilitation provider, or the attorney for the employer or insurance carrier, furnish your relevant records to those persons.
When the use and disclosure without your consent or authorization is allowed under other sections of Section 164.512 of the Privacy Rule and the state’s confidentiality law:
This includes narrowly-defined disclosures to law enforcement agencies, to a health oversight agency (such as a state department of health), to a coroner or medical examiner, for public health purposes relating to disease or FDA-regulated products, or for specialized government functions, such as fitness for military duties, eligibility for VA benefits, and national security and intelligence.
Patient's Rights and Psychologist's Duties
Right to Request Restrictions
- You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information about you. However, I am not required to agree to a restriction you request.
Right to Receive Confidential Communications by Alternative Means and at Alternative Locations
- You have the right to request and receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means and at alternative locations. (For example, you may not want a family member to know that you are seeing me. Upon your request, I will send your bills to another address.)
Right to Inspect and Copy
- You have the right to inspect or obtain a copy (or both) of PHI in my mental health and billing records used to make decisions about you for as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. On your request, I will discuss with you the details of the request process.
Right to Amend
- You have the right to request an amendment of PHI for as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. I may deny your request. On your request, I will discuss with you the details of the amendment process.
Right to an Accounting
- You generally have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI regarding you. On your request, I will discuss with you the details of the accounting process.
Right to a Paper Copy
- You have the right to obtain a paper copy of the notice from me upon request, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically.
Right to Restrict Disclosures when you Have Paid for Your Care out of Pocket
- You have the right to restrict certain disclosures of PHI to a health plan when you pay out-of-pocket in full for your doctor’s services.
Right to be Notified if There is a Breach of Your Unsecured PHI
- You have the right to be notified if: (a) There is a breach (a use or disclosure of your PHI in violation of the HIPPA Policy Rule) involving your PHI; (b) that PHI has not been encrypted to government standards; and (c) my risk assessment fails to determine that there is a low probability that your PHI has been compromised.
I am required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with a notice of my legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI.
I have the duty to respond to your written request and authorizations within a timely manner.
I may deny access to PHI under certain circumstances. You will be informed in writing in a timely manner regarding any denial of access and the process of having the denial reviewed.
I reserve the right to change the privacy policies and practices described in this notice. Unless I notify you of such changes, however, I am required to abide by the terms currently in effect.
If I revise my policies and procedures, I will provide you with the revised policy by mail at the address you provide.
Questions and Complaints
If you are concerned that I have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision that I have made about access to your records, you may contact Ryan Seidman, Psy.D. at (561) 923-5388.
You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed above can provide you with the appropriate address upon request.
This notice will go into effect on 1/1/2017.