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 THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
Your health record contains personal information about you and your health. This information about you that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services is referred to as Protected Health Information (“PHI”). This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your PHI in accordance with applicable law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), regulations promulgated under HIPAA including the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. It also describes your rights regarding how you may gain access to and control your PHI.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. Any new Notice of Practices will be effective for all PHI that we maintain at that time. We will provide you with a copy of the revised Notice of Privacy Practices by posting a copy on our website, sending a copy to you in the mail upon request or providing one to you at your next appointment.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
For Treatment. Your PHI may be used and disclosed without authorization by those who are involved in your carefor the purpose of providing, coordinating, or managing your health care treatment and related services. This includes consultation with clinical supervisors or other treatment team members.
For Payment. We may use and disclose PHI without authorization so that we can receive payment for thetreatment services provided to you. Examples of payment-related activities are: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, processing claims with your insurance company, reviewing services provided to you to determine medical necessity, or undertaking utilization review activities. If it becomes necessary to use collection processes due to lack of payment for services, we will only disclose the minimum amount of PHI necessary for purposes of collection.
For Health Care Operations. We may use or disclose without authorization, as needed, your PHI in order tosupport our business activities including, but not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may share your PHI with third parties that perform various business activities (e.g., billing or typing services) provided we have a written contract with the business that requires it to safeguard the privacy of your PHI.
Required by Law. Under the law, we must disclose your PHI to you upon your request. In addition, we must makedisclosures to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of investigating or determining our compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Rule.
Without Authorization. Following is a list of the other categories of uses and disclosures permitted by HIPAA without anauthorization. Applicable law permits us to disclose information about you without your authorization only in a limited number of situations.
Child Abuse or Neglect. We may disclose your PHI to a state or local agency that is authorized by law to receive reports ofchild abuse or neglect.
Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. We may disclose your PHI pursuant to a subpoena (with your written consent),court order, administrative order or similar process.
Deceased Patients. We may disclose PHI regarding deceased patients as mandated by state law, or to a family member orfriend that was involved in your care or payment for care prior to death, based on your prior consent. A release of information regarding deceased patients may be limited to an executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate or the person identified as next-of-kin. PHI of persons that have been deceased for more than fifty (50) years is not protected under HIPAA.
Medical Emergencies. We may use or disclose your PHI in a medical emergency situation to medical personnel only in orderto prevent serious harm. Our staff will try to provide you a copy of this notice as soon as reasonably practicable after the resolution of the emergency.
Family Involvement in Care. With your authorization or in an emergency situation we may disclose information to closefamily members or friends directly involved in your treatment.
Health Oversight. If required, we may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such asaudits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies and organizations that provide financial assistance to the program (such as third-party payers based on your prior consent) and peer review organizations performing utilization and quality control.
Law Enforcement. We may disclose PHI to a law enforcement official as required by law, in compliance with a subpoena (withyour written consent), court order, administrative order or similar document, for the purpose of identifying a suspect, material witness or missing person, in connection with the victim of a crime, in connection with a deceased person, in connection with the reporting of a crime in an emergency, or in connection with a crime on the premises.
Specialized Government Functions. We may review requests from U.S. military command authorities if you have served asa member of the armed forces, authorized officials for national security and intelligence reasons and to the Department of State for medical suitability determinations, and disclose your PHI.
Public Health. If required, we may use or disclose your PHI for mandatory public health activities to a public health authorityauthorized by law to collect or receive such information for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, or if directed by a public health authority, to a government agency that is collaborating with that public health authority.
Public Safety. We may disclose your PHI if necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health orsafety of a person or the public. If information is disclosed to prevent or lessen a serious threat it will be disclosed to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat.
Research. PHI may only be disclosed after a special approval process or with your authorization. Fundraising.We will not send you fundraising communications without your authorization. You have the right to opt out of such fundraising communications with each solicitation you receive.
Verbal Permission. We may also use or disclose your information to family members that are directly involvedin your treatment with your verbal permission.
With Authorization. Uses and disclosures not specifically permitted by applicable law will be made only withyour written authorization, which may be revoked at any time, except to the extent that we have already made a use or disclosure based upon your authorization. In addition, authorization may be required for the use or disclosure of PHI if a more stringent state or federal law applies, such as substance abuse treatment information protected by 42 C.F.R. Part 2. The following uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization: (i) most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes which are separated from the rest of your medical record; (ii) most uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes, including subsidized treatment communications; (iii) disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI (we will not sell your PHI); and (iv) other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice of Privacy Practices.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PHI
You have the following rights regarding PHI we maintain about you. To exercise any of these rights, please submit your request in writing to our Privacy Officer at address to be delivered over the phone:
Right of Access to Inspect and Copy. You have the right, which may be restricted only inexceptional circumstances, to inspect and copy PHI that is maintained in a “designated record set”. A designated record set contains mental health/medical and billing records and any other records that are used to make decisions about your care. Your right to inspect and copy PHI will be restricted only in those situations where there is compelling evidence that access would cause serious harm to you or if the information is contained in separately maintained psychotherapy notes. We may charge a reasonable. cost-based fee for copies. If your records are maintained electronically, you may also request an electronic copy of your PHI. You may also request that a copy of your PHI be provided to another person.
Right to Amend. If you feel that the PHI we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you mayask us to amend the information although we are not required to agree to the amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us. We may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy. Please contact the Privacy Officer if you have any questions.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an accounting of certainof the disclosures that we make of your PHI. We may charge you a reasonable fee if you request more than one accounting in any 12-month period.
CLIENT BILL OF RIGHTS
As a client of Curandera Counseling you are entitled to the following rights:
- You have the right to be treated with considerations and respect at all times, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, disability, or socioeconomic status. You have the right to share your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement harassment.
- You have the right to ask questions and receive information in an understandable format about any services you receive.
- You have the right to view the information kept in your files. When viewing such information is not advisable, we request a preliminary discussion before releasing your files.
- You have the right to refuse any and all treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of any consequences of such treatment.
- You have the right to expect confidentiality and privacy concerning your status and participation at Curandera Counseling; this confidentiality is limited only by those exceptions listed in the “Confidentiality Policy.”
- You have the right to be advised if an employee at Curandera Counseling proposes to conduct research, which might affect your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
If you feel your rights have been violated, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with your counselor or other employees of Curandera Counseling