NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
This notice relates to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). A full review of the HIPAA Privacy Rule may be found at www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa. I am required to provide you with this notice, even if you are not seeking reimbursement through insurance.
I. MY PLEDGE REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION:
I understand that health information about you and your health care is personal. I am committed to protecting health information about you. I create a record of the care and services you receive from me. I need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by this mental health care practice. This notice will tell you about the ways in which I may use and disclose health information about you. I also describe your rights to the health information I keep about you, and describe certain obligations I have regarding the use and disclosure of your health information. I am required by law to:
- Make sure that protected health information (“PHI”) that identifies you is kept private.
- Give you this notice of my legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information.
- Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
- I can change the terms of this Notice, and such changes will apply to all information I have about you. The new Notice will be available upon request, and in my office.
2. HOW I MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU:
The following categories describe different ways that I use and disclose health information. For each category of uses or disclosures I will explain what I mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways I am permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
For Treatment Payment, or Health Care Operations: Federal privacy rules (regulations) allow health care providers who have direct treatment relationship with the patient/client to use or disclose the patient/client’s personal health information without the patient’s written authorization, to carry out the health care provider’s own treatment, payment or health care operations. I may also disclose your protected health information for the treatment activities of any health care provider. This too can be done without your written authorization. For example, if a clinician were to consult with another licensed health care provider about your condition, we would be permitted to use and disclose your person health information, which is otherwise confidential, in order to assist the clinician in diagnosis and treatment of your mental health condition.
Disclosures for treatment purposes are not limited to the minimum necessary standard. Because therapists and other health care providers need access to the full record and/or full and complete information in order to provide quality care. The word “treatment” includes, among other things, the coordination and management of health care providers with a third party, consultations between health care providers and referrals of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another.
Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are involved in a lawsuit, I may disclose health information in response to a court or administrative order. I may also disclose health information about your child in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
3. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION:
- Psychotherapy Notes. I do keep “psychotherapy notes” as that term is defined in 45 CFR § 164.501, and any use or disclosure of such notes requires your Authorization unless the use or disclosure is: a. For my use in treating you. b. For my use in training or supervising mental health practitioners to help them improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling or therapy. c. For my use in defending myself in legal proceedings instituted by you. d. For use by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate my compliance with HIPAA. e. Required by law and the use or disclosure is limited to the requirements of such law. f. Required by law for certain health oversight activities pertaining to the originator of the psychotherapy notes. g. Required by a coroner who is performing duties authorized by law. h. Required to help avert a serious threat to the health and safety of others.
- Marketing Purposes. As a psychotherapist, I will not use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes.
- Sale of PHI. As a psychotherapist, I will not sell your PHI in the regular course of my business.
4. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES DO NOT REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION.
Subject to certain limitations in the law, I can use and disclose your PHI without your Authorization for the following reasons:
- When disclosure is required by state or federal law, and the use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of such law.
- For public health activities, including reporting suspected child, elder, or dependent adult abuse, or preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety.
- For health oversight activities, including audits and investigations.
- For judicial and administrative proceedings, including responding to a court or administrative order, although my preference is to obtain an Authorization from you before doing so.
- For law enforcement purposes, including reporting crimes occurring on my premises.
- To coroners or medical examiners, when such individuals are performing duties authorized by law.
- For research purposes, including studying and comparing the mental health of patients who received one form of therapy versus those who received another form of therapy for the same condition.
- Specialized government functions, including, ensuring the proper execution of military missions; protecting the President of the United States; conducting intelligence or counter-intelligence operations; or, helping to ensure the safety of those working within or housed in correctional institutions.
- For workers’ compensation purposes. Although my preference is to obtain an Authorization from you, I may provide your PHI in order to comply with workers’ compensation laws.
- Appointment reminders and health related benefits or services. I may use and disclose your PHI to contact you to remind you that you have an appointment with me. I may also use and disclose your PHI to tell you about treatment alternatives, or other health care services or benefits that I offer.
5. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES REQUIRE YOU TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT.
Disclosures to family, friends, or others. I may provide your PHI to a family member, friend, or other person that you indicate is involved in your care of 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.
6. YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PHI:
Under Federal HIPAA statutes you have the right to inspect and copy PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care. However, current Florida state law which is more stringent and currently takes precedence (Health/Human Services Section: 160.201, 160.202, 160.203, 160.204 Preemption of State Law and Florida Statute. 456.057 “Ownership and control of patient records report or copies of records to be furnished”) maintains that the provider of services (Dr. Bevilacqua) is the owner of the record, not the client, and has the option to write a narrative report regarding “examination and treatment in lieu of records.” Therefore, it is my policy to not release your actual clinical record or Personal Health Information to anyone except the US Department of Human Services or my regulatory board under circumstances outlined in Required by Law, Without Authorization, or a court order signed by a judge.
- However, upon your written request I will be happy to write a narrative report concerning your treatment, which will include PHI, your clinical information, to your attorney, other health providers, and/or other legal entities.
- Right to Amend. If you feel that the PHI I have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask me to amend the information although I’m not required to agree to the amendment.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an accounting of certain disclosures that I may make of your PHI. I may charge you a reasonable fee if you request more than one accounting in any 12-month period.
- Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the use or disclosure of your PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations. I am not required to agree to your request.
- Right to Request Confidential Communication. You have the right to request that I communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location.
- Right to a Copy of this Notice. You have the right to a copy of this notice.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE
This notice went into effect on April 11, 2015