The law protects the therapeutic relationship between a client and a therapist; therefore, sensitive information revealed in therapy cannot be disclosed without written permission. As an ethical psychologist licensed in the states of Florida and New York, Dr. Heather Violante exercises every effort to protect her clients’ confidentiality as long as it is maintained within the limits of the law.
***Exceptions to confidentiality include:
- Suspected child abuse, dependent adult, or elder abuse, for which therapists are required by law to report to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person(s), therapists must notify law enforcement and inform the intended victim(s).
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, therapists will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, therapists will take further measures without their permission that are provided to them by law in order to ensure their safety.
Notice of Privacy Practices
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed as well as how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
Our Commitment to Your Privacy
This practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your personal health information as part of providing professional care. We also are required by the law to keep your information private. These laws are complicated; however, this information must be provided to you before you sign the consent for treatment form.
We will use the information about your health, which we get from you and/or from others mainly to provide you with services, to arrange payment for our services, and for some other business activities, which are described in the law as health care operations. If you want to use and/or disclose (send, share, release) your information for any other purposes we will discuss this with you and ask you to sign the authorization form to allow this.
The Privacy Rule permits use and disclosure of protected health information, without an individual’s authorization or permission, in the following situations:
- Information regarding victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
- When there is a serious threat to your health and safety, or the health and safety of another individual, or the public. We will only share information with a person or organization, which is able to help prevent and/or reduce the threat.
- Some lawsuits and legal or court proceedings.
- If a law enforcement official requires us to do so.
- For workers compensation and similar benefit programs.
Your rights regarding your health information:
- You can ask us to communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular way or at a certain place, which is more private for you. Ex: you can ask us to call you at home and not at work to schedule and/or cancel an appointment.
- You have the right to ask us to limit what we tell people involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as family members and/or friends. While we do not have to agree to your request, if we do agree, we will keep our agreement except if it is against the law, or in an emergency, or when the information is necessary to work with you.
- You have the right to look at the health information we have about you, such as your medical and billing records.
- If you believe the information in your records is incorrect and/or missing important information, you can ask us to make some kinds of changes, also known as amending, to your health information. You have to make this request in writing and send it to our Privacy Officer. You must tell us the reasons you want to make these changes.
- You have the right to a copy of this notice. If we change this NPP, we will post the new version in our waiting area and you can always get a copy of the NPP.
- You have the right to file a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You can file a complaint with our Privacy Officer and with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. All complaints must be in writing. Filing a complaint will not change the health care we provide to you in any way.
If you have any questions regarding this notice and/or the health information privacy policies, please contact the Privacy Officer, Dr. Heather R. Violante, Psy.D. at Serenity Lane Psychological Services, LLC. Dr. Violante can be reached by phone at (754) 333-1484 and/or emailed at Dr.Heather@serenitylanetherapy.com
The effective date of this notice is January 1, 2013.