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Privacy Practices & Policies

 

Welcome to Riverwoods Behavioral Health (RBH). We are dedicated to protecting your privacy and safeguarding your protected health information (PHI). This HIPAA Privacy notice explains our practices concerning the use and disclosure of all PHI through this website, our client portal, and other areas where business is conducted within our practice. It also sets forth informed consent around the aim of the therapeutic relationship.

 

Therapy is a relationship that works in part because of clearly defined rights and responsibilities held by each person. This frame helps create the safety to take risks and the support to become empowered to change. As a client in counseling, you have certain rights that are important for you to know about, as well as certain limitations to those rights. As counselors, we have corresponding responsibilities to you. These are outlined as follows:

 

Confidentiality and Privacy

You are protected under the provisions of the Federal Health Insurance and Portability Act (HIPAA), as well as 42 CFR Part 2. This means your records and conversations while in counseling will be kept in strict confidence, even after coming here for services. We may not say to a person outside counseling that you attend counseling or disclose any identifying information about you unless the disclosure is allowed by court order, used for contractual audit, made to medical personnel for research or medical health emergency, without your prior written consent. These laws also ensure the confidentiality of all electronic transmission of information about you. Whenever we transmit information about you electronically (for example sending bills or faxing information), we will do so with special safeguards to protect privacy. We may legally speak to another healthcare provider or family member about you without your prior consent but will not do so unless the situation is an emergency. Additionally, your name and basic identifying data are submitted to a computerized billing system for billing purposes. Your name and basic identifying data may also be submitted to a computerized prescription system for medication management purposes.

 

The following are legal exceptions to your right for confidentiality. We would inform you any time your counselor thinks they will have to put these in effect.

  • If we have good reason to believe that you will harm another person, your counselor must attempt to inform that person and warn them of your intentions. We must also contact the police and ask them to protect your intended victim

  • If we have good reason to believe you are abusing or neglecting a child or vulnerable adult, or if you give your counselor information about someone else who is doing this, we must inform Child Protective Services within 48 hours and Adult Protective Services immediately. If you are between the ages of 16 and 18 and you tell your counselor you are having sex with someone more than five years older than you, or sex with a teacher or a coach, we must also report this to CPS, even though at age 16 you have the right to consent to sex with someone no more than five years older than you. Your counselor would inform you before your counselor took this action.

  • If we believe that you are in imminent danger of harming yourself, your counselor may legally break confidentiality and call the police. We are not obligated to do this and would explore all other options with you before taking this step. If at that point you were unwilling to take steps to guarantee your safety, we could contact the police.

  • If you tell your counselor of the behavior of another named health or mental care provider that suggests to your counselor that this person has either a. Engaged in sexual contact with a client or b. Is impaired from practice in some cognitive, emotional, behavioral or health problems, then the law requires your counselor to report this to their licensing board. We would inform you before taking this step. 

  • With regards to couples therapy, please understand that you are sharing information, not only with your counselor, but also your partner and that this information is recorded in a shared health record. Any request from one party or the other for records will not be released without the expressed written consent of BOTH parties, a court order, or a HIPAA compliant subpoena.

 

Record Keeping

We keep records of all your treatment activity, noting what interventions happened in session, the topics discussed, and any progress you have or have not made. All records will be kept in a manner consistent with HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2 for a minimum of 7 years post care. We maintain your records in a secure location that cannot be accessed by anyone else. Where data storage and/or transmission of records requires a 3rd party platform (i.e. software or server system), RBH establishes and maintains a business associate agreement with these entities to ensure their adherence to HIPAA.

 

Complaints

If you’re unhappy with what is happening in therapy, we hope you will talk to your counselor about it so they can respond to your concerns. Your counselor will take such criticism seriously, and with care and respect. If after speaking to your counselor concerns are not addressed, or you need to speak to another party, please speak to Clinical Director Dr Trish Henrie-Barrus. She will listen to and address your concerns as well. If you believe your counselor has been unwilling to respond, or believed they have behaved unethically, you can complain about their behavior to the Division of Professional Licensing State of Utah Department of Commerce P.O. Box 146741 Salt Lake City, Utah 84114, (801) 530-6628 or file a complaint here: services.dopl.utah.gov/s/


 

Your Rights

When it comes to your protected health information (PHI), you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.

 

  • Receive impartial access to treatment regardless of race, religion, gender, creed, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability. 

  • Be treated with dignity and respect

  • Be free from abuse, retaliation, humiliation, and neglect while receiving services

  • Participate in all aspects of your treatment plan and care

  • Ask questions about anything that happens in therapy or your counselor’s training and speciality

  • Decline or leave therapy at any time

  • Receive an electronic or paper copy of your medical record

    • You can ask to see or receive an electronic or paper record of your medical record and other health information we have about you.

    • We will provide a copy or summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request.

  • Ask us to correct your medical record

    • You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.

  • Request confidential communications

    • There are multiple ways you and your counselor may communicate. These are phone, email, or secure client portal. You can ask us to contact you in a specific way.

  • Ask us to share information and direct what information we share

    • Share information with family, close friends, or others involved in your care

  • Ask us to limit what we share

    • You can ask us not to share or use certain health information

  • Get a list of those with whom we have shared information

    • You can ask us for a list (accounting) of the times we have shared your health information, who we shared it with, and why. We may charge a small, reasonable fee.

  • File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated.

    • You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue S.W. Washington, D.C., 20201, calling 1-877-696-6755, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints

    • We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint

  • Choose someone to act for you

    • If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will need legal documentation to that effect.

  • Get a copy of this privacy notice

    • You can ask for a paper copy of this privacy notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly



 

Your Responsibilities as a Client

  • Arrive on time for your session. Sessions last for 30, 45, or 60 minutes. If you are late, your session will end on time and not run over into the next client’s session

  • Pay all invoices for co-pays, no show, late cancel or late payment fees upon receipt unless other arrangements have been made.

  • If you no show for three sessions in a row and do not respond to attempts to reschedule, we will assume you have dropped out of therapy and will make the space available to another individual.

  • If you are using insurance, you are responsible for providing us with your complete insurance identification information and obtaining the pre-authorization if applicable.

  • It is your responsibility to verify insurance eligibility and benefits. You are responsible for any fees you incur, irrespective of insurance coverage, so it is important you understand and know your own benefits.

  • If your insurance company mails a check to you directly, instead of us, you are responsible for paying that amount at the time of your next appointment. 

  • Participate fully in your care. The more you put into your counseling, the more you will gain from it.

 

Our Responsibilities to you

  • Treat you with dignity and respect

  • Maintain appropriate and healthy boundaries

    • We do not have social or sexual relationships with clients or former clients as this would be a gross abuse of power and is unethical.

  • We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.

  • We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.

  • We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it, if requested.

  • We will not use or share your information described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.

For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/noticepp.html

 

Our Uses and Disclosures

How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your health information in the following ways: read more: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.htms

 

  • Treat You

    • We can use your health information and share it with others 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 an online secured platform for storage of your electronic health records and have a business associate agreement with that entity to ensure your information is protected from others

  • 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

  • We may collect and use your health information through our website client portal and Electronic Health Record System

  • Comply with the law

    • We will share information about you if state or federal law requires it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we are complying with federal privacy law.

  • Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests

    • We can use or share health information about you 

      • For workers’ compensation claims

      • For law enforcement purposes or with a low enforcement official

      • With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law

      • For special governmental functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services

  • Respond to lawsuits and legal actions

    • We can share health information about you in response to a court order. In the event of a subpoena, we will share only the information necessary to respond with a request for a court order.


 

Changes to the Terms of this Notice

We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request. Reference: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/modelnotices.html

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