Privacy Policy

This notice went into effect on December 1, 2021.

Notice of Privacy Practices

This notice describes how health information may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

Our Pledge Regarding Health Information

We understand that health information about you/your child and your/your child’s health care is personal. We are committed to highly protecting health information about you/your child. A record of the care and services is required to provide you with quality care and to comply with legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your/your child’s care generated by this mental health care practice. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you/your child. It describes your/your child’s rights to the health information recorded, and describes certain obligations regarding the use and disclosure of your health information. We are required by law to:

  • Make sure that protected health information (“PHI”) that identifies you/your child is kept confidential and private.
  • Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information.
  • Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
  • Changes to the terms of this Notice, and such changes will apply to all information about you/your child. The new Notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our website.

How We May Use and Disclose Health Information

Confidentiality is important to patients, and essential to good care. There are limits to confidentiality, however, and there are several exceptions to confidentiality for situations that require disclosure by law: The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose health information. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the following categories.

  1. Treatment Payment, or Health Care Operations: Federal privacy rules (regulations) allow health care providers who have direct treatment relationship with the patient/client to use or disclose the patient/client’s personal health information without the patient’s written authorization, to carry out the health care provider’s own treatment, payment or health care operations. Whole Mind Psychology and clinicians reserve the right to consult with other professionals when appropriate in order to assist the clinician in diagnosis and treatment of your mental health condition. In these circumstances, your identity will not be revealed and only important clinical information will be discussed. Please note that such consultants are also legally bound to keep this information confidential. This can be done without your written authorization.
  2. Insurance: Please note that if you plan to follow up with reimbursement from your health insurance company, most insurance agreements require you to authorize our office to provide clinical information directly to them. This can include a clinical diagnosis, historical information, treatment plans or summaries, and sometimes a copy of your chart records. In such cases, this information will become a part of the insurance company files. Our office will inform you of any requests from your health insurance company for a copy of your record, which you may decline.
  3. Disclosures for treatment purposes are not limited to the minimum necessary standard. Because therapists and other health care providers need access to the full record and/or full and complete information in order to provide quality care. The word “treatment” includes, among other things, the coordination and management of health care providers with a third party, consultations between health care providers and referrals of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another.
  4. Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are involved in a lawsuit, I may disclose health information in response to a court or administrative order. I may also disclose health information about your child in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

Certain Uses and Disclosures Require Your Authorization

Psychotherapy Notes. Our clinicians 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:

  1. For my use in treating you/your child
  2. For my use in training or supervising mental health practitioners to help them improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling or therapy.
  3. For my use in defending myself in legal proceedings instituted by you.
  4. For use by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate my compliance with HIPAA.
  5. Required by law and the use or disclosure is limited to the requirements of such law.
  6. Required by law for certain health oversight activities pertaining to the originator of the psychotherapy notes.
  7. Required by a coroner who is performing duties authorized by law.
  8. Required to help avert a serious threat to the health and safety of others.

Marketing Purposes. Whole Mind Psychology and our clinicians will not use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes.

Sale of PHI. Whole Mind Psychology and our clinicians 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, Whole Mind Psychology and our clinicians 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 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 our preference is to obtain an Authorization from you before doing so.
  5. For law enforcement purposes, including reporting crimes occurring on my 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. For workers’ compensation purposes. Although my preference is to obtain an Authorization from you, I may provide your PHI in order to comply with workers’ compensation laws.
  9. Appointment reminders and health related benefits or services. Our office may use and disclose your PHI to contact you/your child to remind you that you have an appointment. tell you about treatment alternatives, or other health care services or benefits that I offer.
  10. If you pay by credit card, the name of the practice (“Whole Mind Psychology”) will appear on your credit card statement.

Certain Uses And Disclosures Require You To Have The Opportunity To Object

Disclosures to family, friends, or others. I 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.

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 me not to use or disclose certain PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations purposes. I am not required to agree to your request, and I may say “no” if I 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 I Send PHI to You. You have the right to ask me to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address, and I will 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 I have about you. I will provide you with a copy of your record, or a summary of it, if you agree to receive a summary, within 30 days of receiving your written request, and I may charge a reasonable, cost based fee for doing so.
  5. The Right to Get a List of the Disclosures I Have Made. You have the right to request a list of instances in which I have disclosed your PHI for purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations, or for which you provided me with an Authorization. I will respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within 60 days of receiving your request. The list I will give you will include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. I will provide the list to you at no charge, but if you make more than one request in the same year, I will 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 I correct the existing information or add the missing information. I may say “no” to your request, but I will 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 this Notice via e-mail, you also have the right to request a paper copy of it.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), you have certain rights regarding the use and disclosure of your protected health information. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your Protected Health Information and to provide you the notice of our legal duties and our privacy practice with respect to PHI.

If you have paid for services "out of pocket", in full and in advance, and you request that we not disclose PHI related solely to those services to a health plan, we will accommodate your request, except where we are required by law to make a disclosure.

This notice is effective as of 12/1/2021 and it is our intention to abide by the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices and HIPAA Regulations currently in effect. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practice and to make the new notice provision effective for all PHI that we maintain. We will post and you may request a written copy of the revised Notice of Privacy Practice from our office.

You have recourse if you feel that your protections have been violated by our office. You have the right to file a formal, written complaint with the office and with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Feel free to contact the Whole Mind Psychology (Rachel Shelley (Goldman), Ph.D.) for more information, in person or in writing.