almaden institute​ 
​               for individual and family growth

   
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES FOR COVERED ENTITIES WITHIN ALMADEN INSTITUTE FOR INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY GROWTH

This notice applies to any therapist who is a covered entity within the HIPAA privacy laws. Not all therapists are considered “covered entities” at Almaden Institute for Individual and Family Growth. Please check with your individual provider as to whether or not they are a “covered entity” by law, and to better understand your right to medical and mental health record privacy.

 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 your mental health provider is required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information (“PHI”) and to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”). They must abide by the terms of this Notice, and must notify you if a breach of your unsecured PHI occurs. They can change the terms of this Notice, and such changes will apply to all information they have about you. The new Notice should be available upon request, should be available in their office, and should be posted on their website. Except for the specific purposes set forth below, they will use and disclose your PHI only with your written authorization (“Authorization”). It is your right to revoke such Authorization at any time by giving me written notice of your revocation. Uses (Inside Practice) and Disclosures (Outside Practice) Relating to Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations Do Not Require Your Written Consent.

Your mental health provider, if a covered HIPAA entity, can use and disclose your PHI without your Authorization for the following reasons:
1. For your treatment: they can use and disclose your PHI to treat you, which may include disclosing your PHI to another health care professional. For example, if you are being treated by a physician or a psychiatrist, they can disclose your PHI to him or her to help coordinate your care, although their preference is for you to give them an Authorization to do so.
2. To obtain payment for your treatment: they can use and disclose your PHI to bill and collect payment for the treatment and services provided by them to you. For example, they might send your PHI to your insurance company to get paid for the health care services that they have provided to you, although their preference may be for you to give them an Authorization to do so.
3. For health care operations: they can use and disclose your PHI for purposes of conducting health care operations pertaining to their practice, including contacting you when necessary. For example, they may need to disclose your PHI to their attorney to obtain advice about complying with applicable laws. Certain Uses and Disclosures Require Your Authorization.
1. Psychotherapy Notes:  They are required by law to 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 their use in treating you.
b. For their use in training or supervising other mental health practitioners to help them improve their skills in group, joint, family or individual counseling or therapy.
c. For their 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.
2. Marketing Purposes. As a psychotherapist, they will not use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes.
3. Sale of PHI. As a psychotherapist, they will not sell your PHI in the regular course of my business. Certain Uses and Disclosures Do Not Require Your Authorization. Subject to certain limitations in the law, they can use and disclose your PHI without your Authorization for the following reasons:
1. 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.
2. For public health activities, including reporting suspected child, elder, or dependent adult abuse, or NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES 2 preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety.
3. For health oversight activities, including audits and investigations.
4. For judicial and administrative proceedings, including responding to a court or administrative order, although their preference may be to obtain an Authorization from you before doing so.
5. For law enforcement purposes, including reporting crimes occurring on their premises.
6. To coroners or medical examiners, when such individuals are performing duties authorized by law.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. For workers' compensation purposes: Although their preference may be to obtain an Authorization from you, they may provide your PHI in order to comply with workers' compensation laws.
10. For appointment reminders and health related benefits or services: they may use and disclose your PHI to contact you to remind you that you have an appointment with them. They may also use and disclose your PHI to tell you about treatment alternatives, or other health care services or benefits that they offer.

Certain Uses and Disclosures Require You to Have the Opportunity to Object.
Disclosures to family, friends or others: They may provide your PHI to a family member, friend, or other person that you indicate is involved in your care or 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.


YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PHI: You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:
1. The Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI. You have the right to ask your mental health provider not to use or disclose certain PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations purposes. They are not required to agree to your request, and they may say “no” if they believe it would affect your health care.
2. The Right to Request Restrictions for Out-of-Pocket Expenses Paid for In Full. You have the right to request restrictions on disclosures of your PHI to health plans for payment or health care operations purposes if the PHI pertains solely to a health care item or a health care service that you have paid for out of-pocket in full.
3. The Right to Choose How They Send PHI to You. You have the right to ask your mental health provider to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address, and they should agree to all reasonable requests.
 4. The Right to See and Get Copies of Your PHI. Other than “psychotherapy notes,” you have the right to get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other information that your mental health provider has about you.
5. The Right to Get a List of the Disclosures Your Mental Health Provider Has Made. You have the right to request a list of instances in which they have disclosed your PHI for purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations, or for which you provided me with an Authorization. Your mental health provider should respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within 60 days of receiving your request. The list should include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. This list may be provided to you at no charge, but if you make more than one request in the same year, they may charge you a reasonable cost based fee for each additional request.
6. The Right to Correct or Update Your PHI. If you believe that there is a mistake in your PHI, or that a piece of important information is missing from your PHI, you have the right to request that they correct the existing information or add the missing information. They may say “no” to your request, but you may request that they tell you why in writing within 60 days of receiving your request.
7. The Right to Get a Paper or Electronic Copy of this Notice. You have the right get a paper copy of this Notice, and you have the right to get a copy of this notice by e-mail. And, even if you have agreed to receive NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES 3 this Notice via e-mail, you also have the right to request a paper copy of it.

HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER’S PRIVACY PRACTICES If you think your mental health provider may have violated your privacy rights, you may file a complaint with them, as the Privacy Officer for their practice, and their address and phone number are:

4990 Speak Ln., #100, San Jose, CA 95118  
(408) 266-7826

 You can also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by:
1. Sending a letter to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201; or
2. Calling 1-877-696-6775; or
3. Visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints.
Your mental health provider should not retaliate against you if you file a complaint about their privacy practices.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE: This notice went into effect on December 20, 2018.

    


DISCLAIMER:  The information contained within this website is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, identify or treat any psychological issue, nor should it be used for therapy purposes in any way.  The use of this website does not imply nor establish any doctor/therapist-patient relationship. None of the information on this website should be utilized  to diagnose or provide any medical or psychological treatment. This website is not responsible for any misinterpretation of the information or any consequences resulting from the use of this website. This website takes no responsibility for any websites that may be linked to this website, nor does it endorse any of the linked websites.
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