Welcome to LizLawrenceLPC.com (the “Site”).We understand that privacy online is important to users of our Site, especially when conducting business. This statement governs our privacy policies with respect to those users of the Site (“Visitors”) who visit without transacting business and Visitors who register to transact business on the Site and make use of the various services offered by the counseling offices (collectively, “Services”) (“Authorized Customers”).
Notice of Privacy Practices
Our Commitment to you and your privacy
This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to it. HIPPA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and was passed because of concerns in an age of electronic records. It is important to us you understand our policies and your rights to safeguard your protected health ing information (PHI). Some of this information is duplicated on the Standards and Policies.
Uses and Disclosures
We may use or disclose your protected health information (PHI) for treatment, payment, and health care purposes with your consent.
- PHI: information in your health records that could identify you
- Treatment: medical or mental health care provided to you by a physician or therapist
- Payment: to obtain payment for services we provide to you
- Health Care Operations: include quality assessment, business audits, administrative, case management and care coordination
- Use: activities within our practice such as examine and analyzing information that identifies you
- Disclosure: activities outside our practice such as releasing, transferring, or providing access to information about you to other parties
Use of Email
Email is not a preferred type of communication but if you choose to email, your information is not guaranteed to be protected. Your counselor most likely will not respond to any emails until in person within your scheduled session. Emails may contain PHI and email does not meet the necessary security requirements used to protect confidentiality. Email is NOT for emergencies.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization/Release
We may use or disclose your PHI when your authorization and signed release is obtained for these specific disclosures. Psychotherapy notes have a greater legal protection than your PHI and will not be released without your consent. As a client, you may revoke all authorizations at any time, provided each revocation is in writing. You may not revoke authorization if the authorization has already been obtained and acted on or if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage and the law provides the insurer the right to contest under the policy.
Uses and Disclosures with neither Consent Nor Authorization
We may use or disclose your PHI without your consent or authorization as required by law in the following circumstances:
- Child abuse: if we have cause to believe a child has been or may be abused, neglected, we are required by law to report it within 48 hours to the proper authorities
- Elderly or Disabled Person Abuse: if we have cause to believe that an elderly or disabled person has been or may be abused, neglected, or exploited, we are required to report it to the proper authorities
- Health Oversight: if a complaint is filed against us by the State Board of Examiners, they have the authority to subpoena confidential mental health information that is relevant to the complaint
- Judicial or Administrative Proceedings: if you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for the information about your diagnosis and treatment and the records thereof, such information is privileged and will not be released without written authorization. This does not apply when you are being evaluated for a third party or where the evaluation is court ordered.
- Serious Threat to Health or Safety: if we determine there is a probability of physical injury to yourself or others or probability of such, we may disclose relevant confidential mental health information to medical or law enforcement personnel.
Clients Rights and Responsibilities
- You agree to responsibly participate actively in the process of therapy both in sessions and between sessions, and you also agree to be honest with your therapist
- You agree to arrive on time for sessions and pay for services received
- You agree to notify your counselor if you become unable to attend sessions and if you do not cancel within less than 24 hours, you agree to possibly pay a half charge for the session
- You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information. However, we are not required to agree to a requested restriction.
- You have the right to request and receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means and at an alternate location (i.e. bills sent to an alternative address).
- You have the right to inspect a copy of your PHI. Psychotherapy notes that are kept separate from PHI are protected.
- You have the right to request an amendment of PHI for as long as the PHI is maintained in your record. The request may be denied but the details will be discussed.
- You generally have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of PHI for which you have neither provided consent nor authorization.
- You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice.
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI.
- We are required by law and state board code of ethics to break confidentiality if any of the above-listed circumstances occur.
- We reserve the right to change the privacy policies and practices described in this document after notification.
- If revisions to policies and procedures occur, you will be notified and provided with a copy.
- Most therapists at Streams are not providers of insurance but will provide a needed diagnosis code for you to file with your insurance. Any diagnosis will become a part of your permanent record.
- We will take care to practice within our individual level of competence and licensure.
- We will discuss the how’s and why’s of any suggested interventions within the therapy process.
- We will refer you to other professionals at any times you request.
We encourage you to bring your concerns directly to us so we can immediately address your concerns. If you feel we have been unwilling to listen or have behaved unethically, you may file a complaint against a Licensed Professional Counselor by contacting the Texas State Board: Complaints Management and Investigative Section P. O. Box 141369 Austin, Texas 78714-1369 or 1-800-942-5540 to request the form or obtain information.
Clients Rights and Responsibilities
I understand I will also sign and date a copy of this Privacy Policies Notice at my first scheduled counseling session.
LizLawrenceLPC.com contains links to other websites. Please note that when you click on one of these links, you are moving to another web site. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of these linked sites as their privacy policies may differ from ours.