Privacy & Policy

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

Client Privacy Policy

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA was enacted by congress in 1996 to protect your personal health information.  It is a set of regulations about how healthcare information is stored, shared, and how disclosures are made.  It is intended to protect your private medical information.  The State of Texas and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Licensed Professional Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psychologists code of ethics have long established standards which in most cases meet and in some cases exceed HIPAA standards.  This office has and will continue to comply with all ethical and legal guidelines in the state of Texas that apply to mental health counseling, and with the newly enacted Federal HIPAA regulations. 

 Your Personal Information

The only information that we will obtain about you personally is the information that you explicitly and voluntarily supply to us when you use the Site. Information identifiable to you personally (such as name and email address) will not be disclosed to anyone unless you have given us written permission to do so. Information about persons accessing the Site may be aggregated for purposes of statistical evaluation without personal identification. We will not give, sell or transfer any personal information to a third party without your express permission to do so unless we are required to do so by applicable law or a court. We cannot, however, warrant the security of any information transmitted to or from the Site, and we will not accept liability for unintentional disclosure. We will do our best to protect your information on our systems. Your use of our website is subject to this Privacy Policy, and your use indicates your acceptance of this Privacy Policy.
 
If you receive an email from us, it will be bec/ you have opted in to our email list. We promise to keep your email address secure and private and will not allow anyone else to use it.

1.       In accordance with HIPPA, your information may only be released with your consent. 

2.       Your demographic information as well as diagnosis is used in secure electronic billing.  Billing staff is informed of dates of service, diagnosis, your demographic information, and health insurance information. For clients who chose to file insurance claims, please be aware that in order for you to be reimbursed by your health care company, I will be required to diagnose a mental health condition. Any diagnosis made may become part of your medical / insurance record.

3.       All of our sessions will become part of your clinical record.  Our communication is privileged.  I will keep confidential anything you say to me, with the following exceptions: 1) you authorize me to tell someone else, as in the case with insurance reimbursement, or consultation with another professionals, 2) I am ordered by the court to disclose your information, 3) I determine that you are a danger to yourself or to others, 4) If during session I become aware that there is physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect to a child or an aged adult, I am required to report to the State of Texas Protective Services. 5) I must also disclose to the proper authorities if there has been sexual abuse perpetrated by a minister or therapist, or if there has been a life threatening felony unreported. I keep your client file in dual locked storage. 

4.   I maintain records for a period of seven years for adults an seven years beyond the age of 18 for children.  All electronic data is password protected.

5.       When requesting additional authorizations from your insurance company (particularly HMO’S) I will be required in most cases to support my request with clinical information. 

6.       To ensure that I am providing quality of care, insurance companies may from time to time audit me.  In the event of this, an agent of the insurance company may request access to your chart to ensure that essential paperwork is enclosed such as initial assessment, visit log, demographic information, client contract, explanation of confidentiality, treatment plan and discharge notes. 

7.       I may hire a medical or other professional to audit charts to prepare for such mentioned audits and or to provide support services as needed.  No other Quality Improvement etc will be performed on your file, by anyone other than me. Any business agent such as a medical billing service, medical secretary, or auditor are bound to strict confidentiality and are punishable by law for any infringement upon confidentiality clauses.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and perspectives. The following reflects your rights and responsibilities as we partner with you to provide your care.

 You have a right to:

  • Receive considerate and respectful care.
  • Receive private and confidential care.
  • Know who is responsible for coordinating your care.
  • Ask for and receive complete and understandable information about your condition and care.
  • Participate in decisions regarding your care.
  • Request assistance for concerns and receive a response from your therapist.
  • Refuse treatment.
  • Access your medical records.
  • Receive an explanation of your bill.
  • Receive respect for your cultural and spiritual beliefs.
  • Voice concerns to without fear of reprisal or discrimination. Call 972-596-1805 and speak to one of our Patient Relations Coordinators to voice concerns or answer questions.

You have a responsibility to:

  • Provide complete and accurate health, medical and insurance information.
  • Ask questions when you are in doubt.
  • Communicate changes in your health and/or condition to your caregivers.
  • Pay your therapy bill promptly.
  • Follow your caregivers' instructions or discuss with them any obstacles you may have in complying with your treatment plan.
  • Accept responsibility for refusing treatment or not following your treatment plan.
  • Show consideration for others around you, including other patients and staff.
  • Follow all clinic rules affecting patient conduct and care.
  Notice of Privacy Practices-Short Version THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY. MY COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY My practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your personal health information as required by law. This pamphlet is a shorter version of the full, legally required NPP which you can receive along with this form if you request it by initialing the appropriate box on the Consent Form. I will use the information about your health which I get from you or others to provide you with treatment, to arrange payment for my services, or for some other business activities which are called health care operations. After you have read this NPP you will be asked to sign a Consent Form to allow my office to share your information. If you or I want to use or disclose (send, share, release) your information for any other purposes I will discuss this with you and ask that an Authorization be signed. Your health information will be kept completely private; however, there are times when the law requires it be shared such as:  When there is a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. Information will only be shared with a person or organization capable of preventing or reducing such threat.  Some law suits and legal or court proceedings.  If required by a law enforcement official through a court order.  For Worker’s compensation and similar benefit programs.  Other rare situations are described in the longer version of the NPP. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION 1) You have the right to request that my office communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular way or at a certain place. For example, you can request that you be contacted only at home and not at work. 2) You have the right to ask my office to limit information given to certain individuals involved in your care or the payment of your care. While I am not required to agree to such requests, if an agreement is reached it will be kept except in circumstances when it is against the law, an emergency, or when the information is necessary for your treatment. 3) You have the right to obtain your health information, such as medical and billing records. You may even obtain a copy of these records, however, there may be a charge for this service. Contact my Office Manager/Privacy Officer to make arrangements. 4) If you believe the information contained in your records is incorrect or incomplete, you may request that certain changes be made to your health information. This request must be submitted to the Privacy Officer in writing. Reasons for the proposed changes must be stated. 5) You have a right to a copy of this notice. If this NPP is changed it is to be posted in the waiting room and an updated copy may be obtained from the Privacy Officer. 6) You have the right to file a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. A written complaint can be filed with the Privacy Officer and with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Filing a complaint will not change the level of health care provided. Other information about HIPAA will be given to you when you first come into the office for your initial visit/consultation.