Privacy Policy

HIPAA Notice of Provider’s Policies and Practices to

Protect the Privacy of Your Health Information

Uses and Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations

I, Beth A. Wolfe, PhD, LMHC 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:

"PHI" (Protected Health Information) refers to individually identifiable health information. PHI includes any identifiable health information received or created by this office or myself. "Health information" is information in any form that relates to any past, present, or future health of an individual. 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 our [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.

II. Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization

                We may use or disclose confidential information (including but not limited to PHI) for purposes of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations when your written informed consent is obtained. We may use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment, payment, and 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 I am asked for information for purposes outside of treatment, payment and health care operations, I will obtain an authorization from you before releasing this information. I will also need to obtain an authorization before releasing your psychotherapy notes. "Psychotherapy notes" are notes I 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. You may revoke all such authorizations (of PHI or psychotherapy notes) 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, and the law provides the insurer the right to contest the claim under the policy.

III. Patient's Rights and Provider's Duties

Patient’s Rights:

                Right to Request Restrictions – You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information about you. 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 me. Upon 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 and psychotherapy notes in our 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 for which you have neither provided consent nor authorization (as described in Section III of this Notice). 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.

Mental Health Provider’s Duties:

                We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with a notice of our 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 post these in our office and mail you a copy if reasonably possible when information is requested from your file.

IV. Questions and Complaints

                If you have questions about this notice, disagree with a decision we make about access to your records,

have other concerns about your privacy rights, you may contact Beth A. Wolfe, PhD, LMHC at (321) 821-0762. If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated and wish to file a complaint with me/my office, you may send your written complaint to Beth A. Wolfe, PhD, LMHC, 2194 Highway A1A, Suite 203, Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937. You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed above can provide you with the appropriate address upon request. You have specific rights under the Privacy Rule. We will not retaliate against you for exercising your right to file a complaint.

V. Effective Date, Restrictions and Changes to Privacy Policy

                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 when information is requested.

Limits of Confidentiality

There are some situations where we are permitted or required to disclose information without either your consent or authorization:

                If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information concerning your diagnosis and treatment, such information is protected by the psychologist-patient privilege law. We cannot provide any information without your (or your personal or legal representative’s) written authorization, or a court order. If you are involved in or contemplating litigation, you should consult with your attorney to determine whether a court would be likely to order us to disclose information.

                If a government agency is requesting the information for health oversight activities, we may be required to provide it for them.

                If a patient files a complaint or lawsuit against me, we may disclose relevant information regarding that patient in order to defend myself.

                If a patient files a worker’s compensation claim, he/she automatically authorizes us to release any information relevant to that claim. Disclosures required by health insurers or to collect overdue fees are discussed elsewhere in this Agreement. There are some situations in which we are legally obligated to take actions, which we believe are necessary to attempt to protect others from harm and we may have to reveal some information about a patient’s treatment. These situations are unusual in our practice.

                If there is a child abuse investigation, the law requires that we turn over our patient’s relevant records to the appropriate governmental agency, usually the local office of the Department of Human Services. Once such a report is filed, we may be required to provide additional information.

                If there is an elder abuse or domestic violence investigation, the law requires that we turn over our patient’s relevant records to the appropriate governmental agency, usually the local office of the Department of Human Services. Once such a report is filed, we may be required to provide additional information.

                If we believe that a patient presents a clear and substantial risk of imminent, serious harm to another person, we may be required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalization for the patient.         

                If we believe that a patient presents a clear and substantial risk of imminent, serious harm to him/herself, we may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her, or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection.