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
We may use or disclose your protected health information (PHI), for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes with your consent. To help clarify these terms, here are some definitions:
Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization
- “PHI” refers to information in your health record that could identify you.
- “Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations”
- Treatment is when we provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and other services related to your health care. An example of treatment would be when we consult with another health care provider, such as your family physician or another psychologist.
- Payment is when we obtain reimbursement for your healthcare. Examples of payment are when we disclose your PHI to your health insurer to obtain reimbursement for your health care or to determine eligibility or coverage.
- Health Care Operations are activities that relate to the performance and operation of my 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 my [office, clinic, practice group, etc.] such as sharing, employing, applying, utilizing, examining, and analyzing information that identifies you.
- "Disclosure" applies to activities outside of our [office, clinic, practice group, etc.], such as releasing, transferring, or providing access to information about you to other parties.
We may use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment, payment, or 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 we are asked for information for purposes outside of treatment, payment or health care operations, we will obtain an authorization from you before releasing this information. In addition, “Psychotherapy Notes” are notes we have made about our conversation during a private, group, joint, or family counseling session, which we have kept separate from the rest of your medical record. These notes are given a greater degree of protection than PHI and are not available to you.
You may revoke all such authorizations (of PHI) at any time, provided each revocation is in writing. You may not revoke an authorization to the extent that (1) we have relied on that authorization; or (2) if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage, law provides the insurer the right to contest the claim under the policy.
Uses and Disclosures with Neither Consent nor Authorization
We may use or disclose PHI without your consent or authorization in the following circumstances:
Patient’s Rights and Psychologist’s Duties
- Child Abuse – If we have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect, we must report this suspicion to the appropriate authorities as required by law.
- Adult and Domestic Abuse – If we have reasonable cause to suspect you have been criminally abused, we must report this suspicion to the appropriate authorities as required by law.
- Health Oversight Activities – If we receive a subpoena or other lawful request from the Department of Health or the Michigan Board of Psychology, we must disclose the relevant PHI pursuant to that subpoena or lawful request.
- Judicial and Administrative Proceedings – If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information about your diagnosis and treatment or the records thereof, such information is privileged under state law, and we will not release information without your written authorization 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 – If you communicate to us a threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable third person and you have the apparent intent and ability to carry out that threat in the foreseeable future, I may disclose relevant PHI and take the reasonable steps permitted by law to prevent the threatened harm from occurring. If we believe that there is an imminent risk that you will inflict serious physical harm on yourself, we may disclose information in order to protect you.
- Worker's Compensation – We may disclose protected health information regarding you as authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to worker’s compensation or other similar programs, established by law, that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness without regard to fault.
We may use or disclose Psychotherapy Notes without your consent or authorization in the following circumstances:
- Treatment – If helpful in your treatment, we may use this information.
- Training – If helpful in my continuing education or training, we may use or disclose this information to improve my skills.
- Legal defense – If we need to defend myself in a legal action or proceeding brought by you, we may use or disclose this information.
- HHS determination – If HHS requires this information regarding compliance to the Privacy Rule, we may use or disclose this information.
- Legal Requirement – If required by law, we may use or disclose this information.
- Health oversight – If there are oversight activities with respect to me, we may use or disclose this information.
- Decedents – To the extent permitted under state law, we may use and disclose this information as requested by medical examiners and/or coroners.
- Right to Request Restrictions – You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information. However, we are 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 us. On your request, we 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. We may deny your access to PHI under certain circumstances, but in some cases you may have this decision reviewed. On your request, we will discuss with you the details of the request and denial 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. We may deny your request. On your request, we 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. On your request, we 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.
- We are 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.
- We reserve the right to change the privacy policies and practices described in this notice. Unless we notify you of such changes, however, we are required to abide by the terms currently in effect.
- If we revise our policies and procedures, we will inform you of the revision and will hand you a copy, upon your request, at a subsequent therapy session. If you are no longer an active patient and send a written notice to exercise your rights regarding your PHI, we will mail or fax a copy of the revised Notice to the address or fax # you specify.
If you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact us (Women’s Personal Growth & Therapy) at (517) 347-2126 to discuss your concerns and to receive further information on the complaint process.
You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We can provide you with the appropriate address upon request.
This notice will go into effect on April 14, 2003.
We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and to make the new notice provisions effective for all PHI that we maintain. We will provide you with a revised notice by informing you of the revision and will hand you a copy, upon your request, at a subsequent therapy session. If you are no longer an active patient and send a written notice to exercise your rights regarding your PHI, we will mail or fax a copy of the revised Notice to the address or fax # you specify.