Notice of Privacy Practices For Deep Eddy Psychotherapy
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact our privacy officer Rachel Villareal at 512-956-6463.
We are required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of protected health information;
- Let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of health information about you;
- Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices regarding health information about you; and
- Follow the terms of our notice that is currently in effect.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION:
The following describes the ways we may use and disclose health information that identifies you– protected health information (PHI). Except for the purposes described below, we will use and disclose PHI only with your written permission. You may revoke such permission at any time by writing to our practice.
For Treatment. We may use and disclose PHI for your treatment and to provide you with treatment-related health care services. For example, we may disclose PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians, or other personnel, including people outside our office, who are involved in your medical care and need the information to provide you with medical care.
For Payment. We may use and disclose PHI so that we or others may bill and receive payment from you, an insurance company or a third party for the treatment and services you received. For example, we may give your health plan information about you so that they will pay for your treatment.
For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose PHI for health care operations purposes. These uses and disclosures are necessary to make sure that all of our patients receive quality care and to operate and manage our office. We also may share information with other entities that have a relationship with you (for example, your health plan) for their health care operation activities. Examples of health care operations include but are not limited to business-related matters such as audits and administrative services, case management and care coordination.
Appointment Reminders, Treatment Alternatives and Health Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose PHI to contact you to remind you that you have an appointment with us. We also may use and disclose PHI to tell you about treatment alternatives or health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Research. Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose PHI for research. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health of patients who received one treatment to those who received another, for the same condition. Before we use or disclose PHI for research, the project will go through a special approval process. Even without special approval, we may permit researchers to look at records to help them identify patients who may be included in their research project or for other similar purposes, as long as they do not remove or take a copy of any PHI.
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.
As Required by Law. We will disclose PHI when required to do so by international, federal, state or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose PHI when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Disclosures, however, will be made only to someone who may be able to help prevent the threat.
Child Abuse: If I have cause to believe that a child has been, or may be, abused, neglected, or sexually abused, I must make a report of such within 48 hours to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the Texas Youth Commission, or to any local or state law enforcement agency.
Adult or Domestic Abuse: If I have cause to believe that an elderly or disabled person is in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, I must immediately report such to the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Business Associates. We may disclose PHI to our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services. For example, we may use another company to perform billing services on our behalf or provide electronic health record services. All of our business associates are obligated to protect the privacy and security of your information and are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as specified in our contract.
Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose PHI in response to a court or administrative order. We also may disclose PHI 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.
Law Enforcement. We may release PHI if asked by a law enforcement official if the information is:
- in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process;
- limited information to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
- about the victim of a crime even if, under certain very limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement;
- about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
- about criminal conduct on our premises; and
- in an emergency to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release PHI as required by military command authorities. We also may release PHI to the appropriate foreign military authority if you are a member of a foreign military.
Workers’ Compensation. We may release PHI for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks. We may disclose PHI for public health activities. These activities generally include disclosures to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; report births and deaths; report child abuse or neglect; report reactions to medications or problems with products; notify people of recalls of products they may be using; a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, eligibility or compliance, and to enforce health-related civil rights and criminal laws.
Data Breach Notification Purposes. We may use or disclose your PHI to provide legally required notices of unauthorized access to or disclosure of your PHI.
National Security and Intelligence Activities. We may release PHI to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President and Others. We may disclose PHI to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or to conduct special investigations.
Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may use or release PHI to organizations that handle organ procurement or other entities engaged in procurement, banking or transportation of organs, eyes or tissues to facilitate organ, eye or tissue donation and transplantation.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release PHI to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We also may release PHI to funeral directors as necessary for their duties.
Inmates or Individuals in Custody. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release PHI to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be if necessary:
- for the institution to provide you with health care;
- to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or
- the safety and security of the correctional institution.
USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT REQUIRE US TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT AND OPT IN/OUT
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. You have the right to tell us to share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care. If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example, if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
Disaster Relief. We may disclose your PHI to disaster relief organizations that seek your PHI to coordinate your care, or notify family and friends of your location or condition in a disaster. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we practically can do so.
Fundraising. We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.
YOUR WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION IS REQUIRED FOR OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
The following uses and disclosures of your PHI will be made only with your written authorization:
- Uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes;
- Disclosures that constitute a sale of your PHI; and
- Mental and behavioral health records;
- Records of drug, alcohol, or substance abuse treatment;
- Records regarding HIV or AIDS diagnosis and treatment; and
- Genetic information (including Genetic Tests).
Other uses and disclosures of PHI not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you do give us an authorization, you may revoke it at any time by submitting a written revocation by mail or in person to our privacy officer Rachel Villareal, or by fax at 512-992-0365, and we will no longer disclose PHI under the authorization. But disclosures that we made in reliance on your authorization before you revoked it will not be affected by the revocation.
You have the following rights regarding PHI we have about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy. You have a right to inspect and copy PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care or payment for your care. This includes medical and billing records, other than psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy this PHI, you must make your request, in writing, to your clinician. We have up to 15 business days to make your PHI available to you and we may charge you a reasonable fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may not charge you a fee if you need the information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act or any other state or federal needs-based benefit program. We may deny your request in certain limited circumstances. If we do deny your request, you have the right to have the denial reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional who was not directly involved in the denial of your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to an Electronic Copy of Electronic Medical Records. If your PHI is maintained in an electronic format (known as an electronic medical record or an electronic health record), you have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted to another individual or entity. We will make every effort to provide access to your PHI in the form or format you request, if it is readily producible in such form or format. If the PHI is not readily producible in the form or format you request your record will be provided in either our standard electronic format or if you do not want this form or format, a readable hard copy form. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic medical record and for any media, such as flash drives or writable CDs, used to transmit your electronic medical record.
Right to Get Notice of a Breach. You have the right to be notified upon a breach of any of your unsecured PHI.
Right to Amend. If you feel that PHI we have is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for our office. To request an amendment, you must make your request, in writing, to the privacy officer. This request must include the reason that supports your request for an amendment. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- Was not created by our office, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
- Is not part of the medical information kept by our office;
- Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
- Is accurate and complete.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures we made of PHI for purposes other than treatment, payment and health care operations or for which you provided written authorization. To request an accounting of disclosures, you must make your request, in writing, to the privacy officer. The request must state a time period, which may not be longer than 6 years. We will provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the PHI we use or disclose for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the PHI we disclose to someone involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not share information about a particular diagnosis or treatment with your spouse. To request a restriction, you must make your request, in writing, to our privacy officer. This request must indicate: (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit Deep Eddy Psychotherapy use and/or disclosure; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply.
We are not required to agree to your request unless you are asking us to restrict the use and disclosure of your PHI to a health plan for payment or health care operation purposes and such information you wish to restrict pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid us “out-of-pocket” in full. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
Out-of-Pocket-Payments. If you paid out-of-pocket (or in other words, you have requested that we not bill your health plan) in full for a specific item or service, you have the right to ask that your PHI with respect to that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations, and we will honor that request.
Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you by mail or at work. To request confidential communications that is different than what you specified on your initial communications agreement (at intake), you must make your request, in writing, to our privacy officer. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate reasonable requests.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE:
We reserve the right to change this notice and make the new notice apply to PHI we already have as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of our current notice at our office and on the website.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office, with the Texas Attorney General at www.oag.state.tx.us/forms/cpd/form.php, or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
Deep Eddy Psychotherapy
508 Deep Eddy Ave