NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
(also referred to as “The Notice” or “NPP”)
THIS INFORMATION SHEET IS DESIGNED TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND HOW
MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND WHAT
YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS ARE. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, as it is called, is a federal government regulation that is designed to regulate how medical records and other “individually identifiable health information” (IIHI) may be used or disclosed by any health care provider. Health care organizations throughout the country are changing the ways they conduct business in order to insure these guidelines are met.
One part of restructuring is to provide our clients with this Notice of Privacy Practice, which outlines how we are going about this process. Disclosure of information is the responsibility of your specific therapist. Whenever the word ‘we’ or ‘us’ is used in this Notice, we mean your specific therapist, who is a “health care entity” subject to HIPAA.
There is no legal relationship, partnership, or otherwise among the various therapists at this practice.
The privacy rule focuses on implementing effective policies, procedures, and business service agreements to control the access and use of health information. One of the main objectives of
HIPAA is to protect the disclosure of any health information about patients that can identify them specifically.
Definitions that are important in understanding the HIPAA rules.
1. “Health information” (HI) is any information that is oral or recorded in any form, which is created or used by health care professionals or health care entities.
2. “Individually identifiable health information” (IIHI) is a subset of HI that either identifies the individual or can be used to identify the individual.
3. “Protected health information” (PHI) is any individually identifiable health information that is transmitted or maintained by the provider in any form or medium. PHI is information that relates to the past, present or future physical or mental health condition of an individual, the provision of health care to that individual, or the past, present or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual, and that identifies that individual or could reasonably be used to identify the individual.
4. “Psychotherapy notes” are recorded notes in any medium created by a health care provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session, and that are separated from the rest of the individual’s medical record. Any “psychotherapy notes” we maintain ARE NOT part of your “medical record” and are for the use of the originating therapist only. We may deny you access to these.
“Psychotherapy notes” are created, kept, viewed, and used only by your individual therapist. Only your individual therapist participates in copying and disclosures of “psychotherapy notes.”