HIPPA Notice of Privacy Practices

Growing Light Counseling, LLC

The following is the Notice of Privacy Practices of Growing Light Counseling, LLC and its sole owner and therapist, Kelly Munier, LPC-MHSP. This is described in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as HIPAA. HIPAA requires Growing Light Counseling, LLC to maintain the privacy of your protected health information and to provide you with notice of the legal duties and privacy policies with respect to your protected health information.

What Information is Protected?

Your personal health information that is protected by law includes any information, oral, written or recorded, that is created or received by certain health care entities, including mental health care providers. This information, also called “individually identifiable health information,” includes information regarding your individual past, present or future mental health condition, the provision of health care to you, and the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to you. This also includes common identifiers like your Social Security Number and birth date.

Growing Light Counseling, LLC Duty to Protect Health Information

Growing Light Counseling, LLC has a duty to protect your personal health information. Growing Light Counseling, LLC is required by law to make sure that protected health information is kept private; give you notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to personal information about you; and follow the terms of the notice that are currently in effect.

How Growing Light Counseling, LLC May Use or Disclose Your Protected Health Information

In general, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may not use or disclose your protected health information without your permission. Once you have given permission, Growing Light Counseling, LLC must use or disclose your protected health information in accordance with the specific terms of that permission. There are instances in which Growing Light Counseling, LLC can use or disclose your information without your expressed permission. The following are the circumstances under which Growing Light Counseling, LLC is permitted by law to use or disclose your protected health information:

To the individual:

Growing Light Counseling, LLC may disclose protected health information to the individual who is the subject of the information.

Treatment, payment and health care operations:

Growing Light Counseling, LLC may use and disclose your protected health information for its own treatment, payment, and health care operations activities. “Treatment” includes the provision, coordination, or management of health care and related services for an individual by one or more health care providers. This includes, for example, a therapist consulting with another health care provider using your protected health information to help with your mental health treatment. “Payment” includes providing your health insurance the necessary protected health information in order to determine coverage of benefits. “Health care operations” includes using your protected health information for competency assurance activities, fraud and abuse detections, and audits within Growing Light Counseling, LLC.

Uses and disclosures with opportunity to agree or object:

Informal permission may be given to Growing Light Counseling, LLC by asking you outright or in circumstances that clearly give you the opportunity to agree or object. If you are not able to give permission as in an emergency situation, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may disclose information if it is determined to be in your best interest. If people such as family members, relatives or close personal friends are helping care for you or helping pay your medical bills, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may release important health information about you to those people. The information released to these people may include your location, your general condition, or death. You have the right to object to such disclosure, unless you are unable to function or there is an emergency. In addition, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may release your health information to organizations authorized to handle disaster relief efforts so those who care for you can receive information about your location or health status. Growing Light Counseling, LLC may allow you to agree or disagree orally to such release, unless there is an emergency.

Incidental use and disclosure:

The Privacy Rule does not require that every risk of an incidental use or disclosure of protected health information be eliminated. However, Growing Light Counseling, LLC is required to have reasonable safeguards to protect your information. The information shared is to be the minimum necessary.

Public interest and benefit activities:

Growing Light Counseling, LLC is permitted to disclose protected health information without your permission for national priority purposes such as:

Required by law: Sometimes Growing Light Counseling, LLC must report some of your health information to state or federal legal authorities, such as law enforcement officials, court officials, or government agencies. For example, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may have to report abuse, neglect, domestic violence or certain physical injuries, or to respond to a court order.

Public health activities: Growing Light Counseling, LLC may be required to report your health information to authorities to help prevent or control disease, injury, or disability. This may include using your medical record to report certain diseases, work-related injuries, birth or death information, information of concern to the Food and Drug Administration, or information related to child or elder abuse or neglect.

Victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence: Growing Light Counseling, LLC may disclosed information regarding abuse, neglect or domestic violence to appropriate government authorities.

Health oversight activities: HDCC may disclose your health information to authorities so they can monitor, investigate, inspect, discipline or license those who work in the health care system or for government benefit programs. The Tennessee Department of Health, who license Professional Counselors, is an example of a health oversight agency.

Judicial and administrative proceedings: If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena or discovery request only if we have first given you notice of the order, subpoena or discovery request and an opportunity to quash it.

Decendents: Growing Light Counseling, LLC may disclose protected health information to funeral directors, coroners or medical examiners to help identify you to determine cause of death.

Serious threat to health or safety: As required by law and standards of ethical conduct, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may release your health information to the proper authorities if Growing Light Counseling, LLC believes, in good faith, that such release is necessary to prevent or minimize a serious and approaching threat to your or the public’s health or safety.

Essential government functions: If you are involved with the military, national security or intelligence activities, or you are in the custody of law enforcement officials or an inmate in a correctional institution, Growing Light Counseling, LLC may release your health information to the proper authorities so they may carry out their duties.

Workers’ compensation: Growing Light Counseling, LLC may disclose your protected health information to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar programs.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES

The above list is not an exhaustive list, but informs you of most circumstances when disclosures without your written authorization may be made. Uses and disclosures for purposes other than described above require your express authorization. Uses or disclosures made with your written authorization will be limited in scope to the information specified in the authorization form. You have the right to revoke an authorization at any time, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on your written authorization. Your revocation of an authorization must be in writing.

If Tennessee law protects your confidentiality or privacy more than the federal “Privacy Rule” does, Growing Light Counseling, LLC will abide by Tennessee law. In general, uses or disclosures by Growing Light Counseling, LLC of your protected health information will be limited to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose of the use or disclosure. As mentioned above, the “minimum necessary” standard does not apply to disclosures to or requests by a health care provider for treatment purposes because health care providers need complete access to information in order to provide quality care.