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. IT IS OUR LEGAL DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI).
By law we are required to insure that your PHI is kept private. The PHI constitutes information created or noted by us that can be used to identify you. It contains data about your past, present, or future health or condition, the provision of health care services to you/your child, or the payment for such health care. We are required to provide you with this Notice about our privacy procedures. This Notice must explain when, why, and how we would use and/or disclose your PHI. Use of PHI means when we share, apply, utilize, examine, or analyze information within our practice; PHI is disclosed when I release, transfer, give, or otherwise reveal it to a third party outside my practice. With some exceptions, we may not use or disclose more of your PHI than is necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the use or disclosure is made; however, we are always legally required to follow the privacy practices described in this Notice.
Please note that we reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and our privacy policies at any time. Any changes will apply to PHI already on file with me. Before I make any important changes to my policies, we will immediately change this Notice and post a new copy of it in our office. You may also request a copy of this Notice from me.
HOW WE WILL USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PHI.
We will use and disclose your PHI for many different reasons. Some of the uses or disclosures will require your prior written authorization; others, however, will not. Below you will find the different categories of my uses and disclosures, with some examples.
1. Uses and Disclosures Related to Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations Do Not Require Your Prior Written Consent. We may use and disclose your PHI without your consent for the following reasons:
2. When disclosure is required by federal, state, or local law; judicial, board, or administrative proceedings; or, law enforcement. Example: We may make a disclosure to the appropriate officials when a law requires us to report information to government agencies, law enforcement personnel and/or in an administrative proceeding.
WHAT RIGHTS YOU HAVE REGARDING YOUR PHI
These are your rights with respect to your PHI:
1. The Right to See and Get Copies of Your PHI. In general, you have the right to see your PHI that is in our possession, or to get copies of it; however, you must request it in writing. If I do not have your PHI, but we know who does, we will advise you how you can get it. You will receive a response from us within 30 days of our receiving your written request. Under certain circumstances, we may feel we must deny your request, but if we do, we will give you, in writing, the reasons for the denial. We will also explain your right to have my denial reviewed. If you ask for copies of your PHI, we will charge you not more than $.25 per page. We may see fit to provide you with a summary or explanation of the PHI, but only if you agree to it, as well as to the cost, in advance.
2. The Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI. You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and disclose your PHI. While we will consider your request, we are not legally bound to agree. If we do agree to your request, we will put those limits in writing and abide by them except in emergency situations. You do not have the right to limit the uses and disclosures that we are legally required or permitted to make.
3. The Right to Choose How I Send Your PHI to You. It is your right to ask that your PHI be sent to you at an alternate address (for example, sending information to your work address rather than your home address) or by an alternate method (for example, via email instead of by regular mail). We am obliged to agree to your request providing that we can give you the PHI, in the format you requested, without undue inconvenience.
4. The Right to Get a List of the Disclosures We Have Made. You are entitled to a list of disclosures of your PHI that we have made. The list will not include uses or disclosures to which you have already consented, i.e., those for treatment, payment, or health care operations, sent directly to you, or to your family; neither will the list include disclosures made for national security purposes, to corrections or law enforcement personnel, or disclosures made before April 15, 2003. After April 15, 2003, disclosure records will be held for six years. We will respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within 60 days of receiving your request. The list we give you will include disclosures made in the previous six years (the first six year period being 2003-2009) unless you indicate a shorter period. The list will include the date of the disclosure, to whom PHI was disclosed (including their address, if known), a description of the information disclosed, and the reason for the disclosure. We will provide the list to you at no cost, unless you make more than one request in the same year, in which case we will charge you a reasonable sum based on a set fee for each additional request.
5. The Right to Amend Your PHI. If you believe that there is some error in your PHI or that important information has been omitted, it is your right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information. Your request and the reason for the request must be made in writing. You will receive a response within 60 days of our receipt of your request. We may deny your request, in writing, if we find that: the PHI is (a) correct and complete, (b) forbidden to be disclosed, (c) not part of my records, or (d) written by someone other than us. Our denial must be in writing and must state the reasons for the denial. It must also explain your right to file a 5 written statement objecting to the denial. If you do not file a written objection, you still have the right to ask that your request and my denial be attached to any future disclosures of your PHI. If we approve your request, we will make the change(s) to your PHI. Additionally, we will tell you that the changes have been made, and I will advise all others who need to know about the change(s) to your PHI.
6. The Right to Get This Notice by Email You have the right to get this notice by email. You have the right to request a paper copy of it, as well.
HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES
If, in your opinion, we may have violated your privacy rights, or if you object to a decision we made about access to your PHI, you are entitled to file a complaint with the person listed in Section VI below. You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201.
PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS NOTICE OR TO COMPLAIN ABOUT MY PRIVACY PRACTICES.
If you have any questions about this notice or any complaints about our privacy practices, or would like to know how to file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, please contact Steps Therapy, 44 Gough St., Suite 210, San Francisco, CA 94103.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE
This notice went into effect on April 14, 2003 and 1/18/2015.