Privacy Policy

TURNING STONE COUNSELING, LLC

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

Turning Stone Counseling, LLC   Privacy Officer: Carlada Razmus, 410-841-9647

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

INTRODUCTION

Turning Stone Counseling (TSC) is committed to protecting your health information. TSC is required by law to maintain the privacy of Protected Health Information (PHI).  PHI includes any identifiable information that we obtain from you or others that relate to your physical or mental health, the health care you have received, or payment for healthcare.  As required by law, this notice provides you with information about your rights and our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the privacy of PHI. In order to provide treatment or to pay for your healthcare, TSC will ask for certain health information and that health information will be put into your record.  The record usually contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, and treatment. That information, referred to as your health or medical record, and legally regulated as health information, may be used for a variety of purposes. TSC and its Business Associates are required to follow the privacy practices described in this Notice, although TSC reserves the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time.  You may request a copy of the new Notice at any time. It is also posted on our website at http://turningstonecounseling.com/privacy

PERMITTED USES AND DISCLOSURES

Turning Stone Counseling (TSC) employees will only use your health information when doing their jobs. For uses beyond what TSC normally does, TSC will have your written authorization unless the law permits or requires it, and you may revoke such authorization with limited exceptions. The following are some examples of our possible uses and disclosures of your health information.

USES AND DISCLOSURES WITHOUT CONSENT

How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your information in the following ways:

TREAT YOU – We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.  Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.

RUN OUR ORGANIZATION – We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.  Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.*

BILL FOR YOUR SERVICES – We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.  Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES PERMITTED BY LAW

HOW ELSE CAN WE USE OR SHARE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION?

We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways, usually in ways that contribute to the public good such as public health and research.  We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes.

INFORMATION PURPOSES: Unless you provide us with alternative instructions, TSC may send reminders and other materials related to our services to your home.

COMPLY WITH THE LAW: We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy laws.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIVITIES: We can share health information about you for certain situations such as: Preventing disease, helping with product recalls, reporting adverse reactions to medications, reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, and preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety.

HEALTH OVERSIGHT ACTIVITIES: TSC may disclose your health information to other divisions in the department and other agencies for oversight activities required by law. Examples of these oversight activities include audits, inspections, investigations, and licensure.

WORK WITH A MEDICAL EXAMINER OR FUNERAL DIRECTOR: We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.

RESEARCH PURPOSES: In certain circumstances, we can use or share your information for health research.

AVERT THREAT TO THE HEALTH OR SAFETY: In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, TSC may disclose health information as necessary to law enforcement or other persons who can reasonably prevent or lessen the threat of harm.

ABUSE OR NEGLECT: TSC will disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you may be a possible victim of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, or some other crime. 

SPECIFIC GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS: TSC may disclose health information for special government functions such as military, national security and presidential protective services.

FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR OTHERS INVOLVED IN YOUR CARE: TSC may share your health information with people as it is directly related to their involvement in your care or payment of your care. TSC may also share you health information with people to notify them about your location, general condition, or death.

WORKER’S COMPENSATIONS: TSC may disclose health information to worker’s compensation programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses without regard to fault.

RESPOND TO LAWSUITS AND LEGAL ACTIONS: TSC can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request, the investigation of a complaint filed on your behalf, or other lawful process.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: TSC may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for purposes that are required by law or in response to a subpoena.

OTHER PARTIES FOR CONDUCTING PERMITTED ACTIVITIES: TSC may conduct the above-described activities ourselves or we may use a non-TSC entity (known as a Business Associate) to perform those operations. In those instances where we disclose your PHI to a third party acting on our behalf, we will protect your PHI through an appropriate privacy agreement.

YOUR RIGHTS

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights.

ASK US TO LIMIT WHAT WE USE OR SHARE  You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment or our operations.  We are not required to agree to your request and we may say “no” if it would affect your care. If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer.  We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.

REQUEST CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS  You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address. We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.

INSPECT AND COPY  With certain exceptions (such as psychotherapy notes, information collected for certain legal proceedings, and health information restricted by law), you have a right to see your health information upon your written request. If you want copies of your health information, you may be charged a reasonable and cost-based fee for copying, postage, and preparing and explanation or summary of the protected health information. you have a right to choose what portions of your information you want copied and to have prior information on the cost of copying. TSC uses an electronic health record and therefore we will provide access in electronic format and transmit copies of the health information to an entity or person designated by you, provided that any such choice is clear, conspicuous and specific.

REQUEST AMENDMENT  You may request in writing that TSC correct or add to your health record. TSC will respond to your request within 60 days, with up to a 30-day extension, if needed. TSC may deny the request if TSC determines that the health information is: (1) correct and complete; (2) not created by us and/or not part of our records; (3) not permitted to be disclosed. If TSC approves the request for amendment, TSC will change the health information and inform you, and TSC will tell others that need to know about the change in the health information. ask us to correct your health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete.  Ask us how to do this. We may say no to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days.

REQUIRE AUTHORIZATION  You have the right to require your authorization for most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, for receiving marketing communication and for the sale of your PHI.

GET A LIST OF THOSE WITH WHOM WE’VE SHARED INFORMATION  You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with and why.  We will include all disclosures except for those about treatment, payment and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make.)  We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.

OPT-OUT  You have the right to receive electronic communication and the right to request to opt-out of electronic communication. 

RECEIVE NOTICE  You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice and/or an electronic copy by mail upon request.

RECEIVE BREACH NOTIFICATION  You have the right to receive notification whenever a breach of your unsecured PHI occurs.

FILE A COMPLAINT IF YOU FEEL YOUR RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED  You can file a complaint if you feel we have violated your rights, by contacting us using the information below.  TSC will make no retaliatory action against you if you make such complaints. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint.

You can file a complaint with Turning Stone Counseling- Attn: Carlada Razmus 410-841-9647 ext. 3.  You may contact the following: Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights by calling: 1-877-696-6775 or visiting: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/ 

Effective Date 8/15/2016 Rev.8/2019

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