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HIPAA: Notice of Privacy Practices



Uses and Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations


We (heretofore SCCNJ/RSM Psychology Center and their staff) may use or disclose your protected health information (PHI), for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes with your consent. To help clarify these terms, here are some definitions:


"PHI" refers to information in your health record that could identify you.


"Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations"


Treatment is when we provide, coordinate or manage your health care and other services related to your health care.  An example of treatment would be when we consult with another health care provider, such as your family physician or another doctor.


Payment is when we obtain reimbursement for your healthcare.  Examples of payment are when we disclose your PHI to your health insurer to obtain reimbursement for your health care or to determine eligibility or coverage.


Health Care Operations are activities that relate to the performance and operation of our practice. Examples of health care operations are quality assessment and improvement activities, business-related matters such as audits and administrative services, and case management and care coordination.


Use" applies only to activities within our practice group such as sharing, employing, applying, utilizing, examining, and analyzing information that identifies you.


"Disclosure" applies to activities outside of practice group such as releasing, transferring, or providing access to information about you to other parties.


Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization


We may use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment, payment, and health care operations when your appropriate authorization is obtained.  An "authorization" is written permission above and beyond the general consent that permits only specific disclosures.  In those instances when we are asked for information for purposes outside of treatment, payment and health care operations, we will obtain an authorization from you before releasing this information. We will also need to obtain an authorization before releasing your psychotherapy notes. "Psychotherapy notes" are notes we have made about our conversation during a private, group, joint, or family counseling session, which we have kept separate from the rest of your medical record. These notes are given a greater degree of protection than PHI.

  • We will also obtain an authorization from you before using or disclosing:  PHI in a way that is not described in this Notice. Psychotherapy notes · PHI for marketing purposes · PHI in a way that is considered a sale of PHI.


You may revoke all such authorizations (of PHI or psychotherapy notes) at any time, provided each revocation is in writing. You may not revoke an authorization to the extent that (1) we have relied on that authorization; or (2) the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage, and the law provides the insurer the right to contest the claim under the policy.



Uses and Disclosures with Neither Consent nor Authorization


We may use or disclose PHI without your consent or authorization  in the following circumstances:


  • Child Abuse: If we have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subject to abuse, we must report this immediately to the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services.


  • Adult and Domestic Abuse: If we reasonably believe that a vulnerable adult is the subject of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, we may report the information to the county adult protective services provider.


  • Health Oversight: If the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners issues a subpoena, we may be compelled to testify before the Board and produce your relevant records and papers.


  • Judicial or Administrative Proceedings: If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information about the professional services that we have provided you and/or the records thereof, such information is privileged under state law, and we must not release this information without written authorization from you or your legally appointed representative, or a court order. This privilege does not apply when you are being evaluated for a third party or where the evaluation is court ordered. We must inform you in advance if this is the case.


  • Serious Threat to Health or Safety: If you communicate to us a threat of imminent serious physical violence against a readily identifiable victim or yourself or to the public and we believe you intend to carry out that threat, we must take steps to warn and protect. We also must take such steps if we believe you intend to carry out such violence, even if you have not made a specific verbal threat. The steps we take to warn and protect may include arranging for you to be admitted to a psychiatric unit of a hospital or other health care facility, advising the police of your threat and the identity of the intended victim, warning the intended victim or his or her parents if the intended victim is under 18, and warning your parents if you are under 18.

  • Worker's Compensation: If you file a worker's compensation claim, we may be required to release relevant information from your mental health records to a participant in the worker's compensation case, a reinsurer, the health care provider, medical and non-medical experts in connection with the case, the Division of Worker's Compensation, or the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau.

  • When the use and disclosure without your consent or authorization is allowed under other sections of Section 164.512 of the Privacy Rule and the state’s confidentiality law. This includes certain narrowly-defined disclosures to law enforcement agencies, to a health oversight agency (such as HHS or a state department of health), to a coroner or medical examiner, for public health purposes relating to disease or FDA-regulated products, or for specialized government functions such as fitness for military duties, eligibility for VA benefits, and national security and intelligence.


Patient's Rights and Doctor’s/Staff Duties

Patient's Rights:


  • Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information about you. However, we are not required to agree to a restriction you request.


  • Right to Receive Confidential Communications by Alternative Means and at Alternative Locations: You have the right to request and receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means and at alternative locations. (For example, you may not want a family member to know that you are seeing us. Upon your request, we will send your bills to another address.)


  • Right to Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect or obtain a copy (or both) of PHI in our mental health and billing records used to make decisions about you for as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. We may choose to provide you with a summary of your record. We may deny your access to PHI under certain circumstances, but in some cases, you may have this decision reviewed. On your request, we will discuss with you the details of the request and denial process.


  • Right to Amend: You have the right to request an amendment of PHI for as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. We may deny your request. On your request, we will discuss with you the details of the amendment process.


  • Right to an Accounting: You generally have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI for which you have neither provided consent nor authorization (as described in Section III of this Notice). On your request, we will discuss with you the details of the accounting process.


  • Right to a Paper Copy: You have the right to obtain a paper copy of the notice from us upon request, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically.


  • Right to Restrict Disclosures When You Have Paid for Your Care Out-of-Pocket. You have the right to restrict certain disclosures of PHI to a health plan when you pay out-of-pocket in full for my services.


  • Right to Be Notified if There is a Breach of Your Unsecured PHI. You have a right to be notified if: (a) there is a breach (a use or disclosure of your PHI in violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule) involving your PHI; (b) that PHI has not been encrypted to government standards; and (c) my risk assessment fails to determine that there is a low probability that your PHI has been compromised.


  • Right to Opt out of Fundraising Communications. You have a right to decide that you would not like to be included in fundraising communications that I may send out.


Psychologists' Duties:

  • We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI.


  • We reserve the right to change the privacy policies and practices described in this notice. Unless we notify you of such changes, however, we are required to abide by the terms currently in effect.


  • If we revise our policies and procedures, we will post such a notice in our offices and give you a copy at your next appointment.



If you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, Director, 609-896-1070 and/or the NJ State Board of Psychological Examiners in Newark, NJ, as posted in our office.


You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed above can provide you with the appropriate address upon request. You have specific rights under the Privacy Rule. We will not retaliate against you for exercising your right to file a complaint.


Effective Date, Restrictions and Changes to Privacy Policy


This notice went into effect on April 14, 2003 & September 23, 2013.

We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and to make the new notice provisions effective for all PHI that we maintain. We will provide you with a revised notice by posting in our office and giving you a copy at your next appointment.

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