HIPPA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES AND CLIENTS’ RIGHTS.
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL/MENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY. Effective Date: June 1, 2017
The law protects the privacy of all communications between a client and a mental health professionals. In most situations, Counselors can only release information about your treatment to others in accordance with state and federal laws and the ethics of the counseling profession which requires you to sign a written authorization form that meets legal requirements imposed by HIPAA-Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (45CFR 164.520). HIPPA is a legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding Protected Health Information-PHI. PHI includes common demographic information such as name, street address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, etc. PHI also includes past, present or future information about the individuals physical or mental health condition, payment status and provision of health care. Currently, I do not accept insurance nor do I deal with insurance companies; therefore, there would be no need for me to electronically transfer any PHI to another entity. Notes documented after a counseling session are regarded as process notes and are not included as part of your PHI. Even so, all process notes of your session will be stored electronically and are not kept in a physical form, according to HIPAA guidelines. This means your identity and ongoing work in counseling will be kept strictly confidential, with only the following exceptions:
- I believe you are a threat to yourself or others (suicidal or homicidal intentions) I may need to report this to your family and/or others in harms way; or to other mental health or law enforcement professionals.
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse and/or neglect of a child will be reported to Child Protective Services. When the victim of child abuse is over the age of 18, I am not legally mandated to report it unless I believe there are minors still living with the abuser who may be in danger of abuse.
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse of an elderly or dependent adult will be reported to Adult Protective Services.
- I may consult with other professional counselors/therapists if I deem this necessary. This will allow me to gain other perspectives of how to best help you reach your goals. Such consultations are obtained in a way that maintains complete confidentiality. No identifying information is shared in such consultations. The other professionals are also legally bound to keep the information confidential. If you do not object, you will not be told about these consultations unless it is important to the counseling process. All consultations will be noted in your Clinical Record.
- If a court of law orders a subpoena of your case record or testimony, I will first assert “privilege” (which is your right to deny the release of your records). I will release records with your written permission or if a court denies the assertion of privilege and orders the release of records.