I take patient confidentiality seriously and will do everything in my power to protect your personal health information.
Laws are in place to protect your privacy and I follow them. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) contains a privacy rule that outlines national standards to safeguard patient medical records and protected health information. This includes the past, present, or future health condition of the patient, the administration of health care to the patient, or the past, present, or future payment for health care by the patient. I adhere to these standards in the following ways:
- HIPAA compliant email, medical record storage, patient scheduling, and insurance claim submission;
- Patient information is never stored on physical devices in my office or home (physical theft of paper records or electronic devices is a common HIPAA violation);
- I do not store, or tell my devices to remember, my login information for the online services I use to administer patient care.
Exceptions to Your Privacy
If you use health insurance to help pay for your treatment, the health insurance company requires me to send them your personal information and diagnosis. Don’t worry, health insurance companies are also HIPAA compliant.
You may choose to have your information shared with others, such as physicians, psychiatrists, attorneys, and family members. In such cases, I will only share information with parties you have specified on a signed "release of information" form. Please note that the information of minor patients (under age 18) is regulated by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who can sign a release of information form for the minor.
I may disclose protected health information of a patient if required by law. For example, if I believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, I must file a report with the appropriate state or court agency. If I believe a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another, I am required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalization for the patient. If the patient threatens to harm himself/herself, I may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection. If one of these situations occurs, I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action.