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Terms and Policy

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
THE PRIVACY OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT TO US.

OUR LEGAL DUTY

We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your health information. We are also required to give you this Notice about our privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. The Notice takes effect April 14, 2003 and will remain in effect until we replace it.

We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and this Notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health information we created or received before we made the changes. Before we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this Notice and make the new Notice available upon request.

You may request a copy of our Notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, or for addition copies of this Notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice.

USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION.

We use and disclose health information about you without your consent or authorization for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. For example:

Treatment: We may use or disclose your health information to a physician or other healthcare provider providing treatment to you or for the management of healthcare and related services. It also includes but is not limited to consultations and referrals between one or more providers. For example, Victoria Shaw, PhD, LPC may contact a provider on your behalf to facilitate your access to mental health treatment.

Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services provided to you. For example, Victoria Shaw, PhD, LPC may contact a benefit plan (your insurance company or employee benefit plan) to obtain information concerning billing for services, copay information, etc.

Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our healthcare operations. Healthcare operation include quality assessment and improvement activities, case management, reviewing the competence or qualification of healthcare professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.

Your Authorization: In addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations, you may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this Notice.

To Your Family and Friends: We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Client Rights section of this Notice. We may disclose your health information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help with your healthcare or with payment for healthcare, but only in you agree that we may do so.

Persons Involved In Care: We may use or disclose health information to notify, or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care, of your location, your general condition, or death. If you are present, then prior to use of disclosures of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person=s involvement in your healthcare. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences in your best interest in allowing another person to pick up health information.

Marketing Health-Related Services: We will not use your health information for marketing communications without your written authorization.

Required by Law: We may use or disclose your health information when we are required to do so by law, for example, when ordered to do so by a court having jurisdiction of an appropriate matter.

Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or health or safety of others.

National Security: We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose to authorized federal officials health information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials, having lawful custody of protected health information of inmate or client under certain circumstances.


Appointment Reminders: We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders (such as voicemail messages).

CLIENT RIGHTS

Access: You have the right to inspect or obtain copies of your health information, except for therapist=s notes and certain other limited exceptions. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practically do so. (You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your health information. You may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information list at the end of this Notice. We will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for providing your health information in that format. If you request copies, we will charge you $1.00 for each page to locate and copy your health information, and postage if you want the copies mailed to you. If you request an alterative format, we will change a cost based fee for printing your health information in that format. If you prefer, we will prepare a summary or an explanation of your health information for a fee. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice for a full explanation of our fee structure.) If access is denied, you or your personal representative will be provided with a written denial, setting forth the basis for the denial, a description of how you may appeal the decision and a description of how you may complain to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Disclosure Accounting: you have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business associates disclosed your health information for purposes, other than treatment, payment healthcare operations and certain other activities, for the last 6 years, but not before April 14, 2003. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12 month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.

Restrictions: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree to these addition restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency).

Alternative Communication: You have the right to request that we communicated with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. (You must make your request in writing). Your request must specify the alternative means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation of how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location you request.

Amendment: You have the right to request that we amend your health information. (Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended.) We may deny your request under certain circumstances. We have 60 days after the request is made to act on the request. A single 30 day extension is permissible if we are unable to comply by the deadline. If the request is denied in whole or in part, we will provide you with a written denial that explains the basis for the denial. You or your personal representative may then submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial and have the statement included with any future disclosure of your Protected Health Information (PHI)

Questions and Complaints:

If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us.

If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your health information or in response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your health information or to have us communicate with you by alternative means or an alternative locations, you may complain to us using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. You also may submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request.

We support your right to the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Contact Information:

Privacy Officer
Victoria Shaw, PhD, LPC
Victoria Shaw Psychotherapy
( Type Full Name )
Clinician-Patient Agreement and Financial Responsibility
Rights and Risks:
- You may ask questions about any aspect of the counseling process.
- If you have been referred by a court or state agency, you have the right to divulge only what you want to be included in a report.
- Therapy is most effective when you are open and can speak honestly about your emotions and experiences.
- Therapy may include talking about emotionally provoking subjects and scenarios.

Confidentiality:
- Information shared by you in session will be kept confidential.
- Information will not be released without your written consent, except for professional consultation if needed and unless required by law.
- I am required by law to disclose information pertaining to suspected child abuse, the inability to care for one’s basic needs for food, clothing or shelter, and threatened harm to oneself or others.
- The court may subpoena counseling records.
- It is understood that information regarding treatment and diagnosis may be provided to an insurance company.
- You may want to discuss further limits or exceptions of confidentiality.

Appointments:
- All office visits are by appointment.
- Please arrive on time, as you use up your own time when you arrive late for an appointment. The usual length of an appointment is 45 minutes.
- Late cancellation (less than 24 hours before) and/or no-show appointments are billed to the client for the full amount. Insurance companies will not pay for no-show charges or late cancellation charges or for telephone consultations.

Fees:
- Payment in full is expected at the time of service unless another payment plan has been previously arranged.
- I do not participate in any insurance plans. Your health insurance may help you recover some of your counseling costs through your out of network benefits. I will give you an after each session that you can submit to your insurance. - Please verify with your company the amounts of coverage for outpatient psychotherapy by licensed professionals. If your policy requires preauthorization to receive services, it is your responsibility and needs to be handled prior to your first visit.
- Except in the case of minors or when other arrangements are made, the person receiving the counseling service is financially liable.
- Accounts become delinquent after thirty (30) days. Accounts 90 days in arrears will be terminated.
- Any change in my financial situation I will discuss with my therapist. In the event you find it necessary to change mental health providers and require that your records be released your account will need to be paid in full.

I have read, understand and agree to the above policies. I have been offered a copy of these policies to take with me if desired. I hereby authorize Victoria Shaw, PhD, LPC to release any information acquired in the course of my therapy to my insurance company (if client is a minor, parent or guardian sign). I understand my insurance coverage is a relationship between me and my insurance company, and I agree to accept financial responsibility for payment of charges incurred. I understand that a re-billing fee/financial charge complying with Connecticut State Law will be applied to any overdue balance, and in the event of non-payment, I will bear the cost of collection and/or court costs and reasonable legal fees should this be required. I have read and/or received a copy of Victoria Shaw, PhD, LPC’s Privacy Policy
( Type Full Name )