Counseling Inc.

STRIVE Counseling Inc. 

 Patient Notice of Privacy Practices

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.   

Your health record contains personal information about you and your health.  This information about you that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services is referred to as Protected Health Information (“PHI”). This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your PHI in accordance with applicable law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), regulations promulgated under HIPAA including the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, and the NASW Code of Ethics.  It also describes your rights regarding how you may gain access to and control your PHI. 

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices.  We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices at any time.  Any new Notice of Privacy Practices will be effective for all PHI that we maintain at that time. We will provide you with a copy of the revised Notice of Privacy Practices by posting a copy on our website, sending a copy to you in the mail upon request or providing one to you at your next appointment. 

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

For Treatment.  Your PHI may be used and disclosed by those who are involved in your care for the purpose of providing, coordinating, or managing your health care treatment and related services. This includes consultation with clinical supervisors or other treatment team members.  We may disclose PHI to any other consultant only with your authorization.

For Payment.  We may use and disclose PHI so that we can receive payment for the treatment services provided to you.  This will only be done with your authorization. Examples of payment-related activities are: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits with insurance company or Premier Billing Company (Company we contract with for billing), processing claims with your insurance company, reviewing services provided to you to determine medical necessity, or undertaking utilization review activities.  If it becomes necessary to use collection processes due to lack of payment for services, we will only disclose the minimum amount of PHI necessary for purposes of collection.  

For Health Care Operations.  We may use or disclose, as needed, your PHI in order to support our business activities including, but not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may share your PHI with third parties that perform various business activities (e.g., billing or typing services) provided we have a written contract with the business that requires it to safeguard the privacy of your PHI.   For training or teaching purposes PHI will be disclosed only with your authorization. 

Required by Law.  Under the law, we must disclose your PHI to you upon your request.  In addition, we must make disclosures to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of investigating or determining our compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Rule.

Without Authorization.  Following is a list of the categories of uses and disclosures permitted by HIPAA without an authorization.  Applicable law and ethical standards permit us to disclose information about you without your authorization only in a limited number of situations.  

As a social worker licensed in this state and as a member of the National Association of Social Workers, it is our practice to adhere to more stringent privacy requirements for disclosures without an authorization.  The following language addresses these categories to the extent consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics and HIPAA.

Child Abuse or Neglect. We may disclose your PHI to a state or local agency that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect.  

Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. We may disclose your PHI pursuant to a subpoena (with your written consent), court order, administrative order or similar process.

Deceased Patients.  We may disclose PHI regarding deceased patients as mandated by state law, or to a family member or friend that was involved in your care or payment for care prior to death, based on your prior consent. A release of information regarding deceased patients may be limited to an executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate or the person identified as next-of-kin.  PHI of persons that have been deceased for more than fifty (50) years is not protected under HIPAA.

Medical Emergencies.  We may use or disclose your PHI in a medical emergency situation to medical personnel only in order to prevent serious harm. Our staff will try to provide you a copy of this notice as soon as reasonably practicable after the resolution of the emergency.

Family Involvement in Care. We may disclose information to close family members or friends directly involved in your treatment based on your consent or as necessary to prevent serious harm.

Health Oversight.  If required, we may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies and organizations that provide financial assistance to the program (such as third-party payors based on your prior consent) and peer review organizations performing utilization and quality control. 

Law Enforcement. We may disclose PHI to a law enforcement official as required by law, in compliance with a subpoena (with your written consent), court order, administrative order or similar document, for the purpose of identifying a suspect, material witness or missing person, in connection with the victim of a crime, in connection with a deceased person, in connection with the reporting of a crime in an emergency, or in connection with a crime on the premises.

Specialized Government Functions.  We may review requests from U.S. military command authorities if you have served as a member of the armed forces, authorized officials for national security and intelligence reasons and to the Department of State for medical suitability determinations, and disclose your PHI based on your written consent, mandatory disclosure laws and the need to prevent serious harm.

Public Health.  If required, we may use or disclose your PHI for mandatory public health activities to a public health authority authorized by law to collect or receive such information for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, or if directed by a public health authority, to a government agency that is collaborating with that public health authority. 

Public Safety. We may disclose your PHI if necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public.  If information is disclosed to prevent or lessen a serious threat it will be disclosed to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat. 

Research.   PHI may only be disclosed after a special approval process or with your authorization. 

Verbal Permission. We may also use or disclose your information to family members that are directly involved in your treatment with your verbal permission.

With Authorization.   Uses and disclosures not specifically permitted by applicable law will be made only with your written authorization, which may be revoked at any time, except to the extent that we have already made a use or disclosure based upon your authorization.  The following uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization: (i) most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes which are separated from the rest of your medical record; (ii) most uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes, including subsidized treatment communications; (iii) disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI; and (iv) other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. 

 
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PHI

You have the following rights regarding PHI we maintain about you.  To exercise any of these rights, please submit your request in writing to Tylene Channer at Strive Counseling Inc.:

Right of Access to Inspect and Copy.  You have the right, which may be restricted only in exceptional circumstances, to inspect and copy PHI that is maintained in a “designated record set”. A designated record set contains mental health/medical and billing records and any other records that are used to make decisions about your care.  Your right to inspect and copy PHI will be restricted only in those situations where there is compelling evidence that access would cause serious harm to you or if the information is contained in separately maintained psychotherapy notes.  We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for copies. If your records are maintained electronically, you may also request an electronic copy of your PHI.  You may also request that a copy of your PHI be provided to another person.

Right to Amend.  If you feel that the PHI we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information although we are not required to agree to the amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us. We may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy. Please contact the Strive Counseling Inc. Owner/Director, Tylene Channer, if you have any questions.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures.  You have the right to request an accounting of certain of the disclosures that we make of your PHI.  We may charge you a reasonable fee if you request more than one accounting in any 12-month period.

Right to Request Restrictions.  You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the use or disclosure of your PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations.  We are not required to agree to your request unless the request is to restrict disclosure of PHI to a health plan for purposes of carrying out payment or health care operations, and the PHI pertains to a health care item or service that you paid for out of pocket. In that case, we are required to honor your request for a restriction.

Right to Request Confidential Communication.  You have the right to request that we communicate with you about health matters in a certain way or at a certain location.  We will accommodate reasonable requests.  We may require information regarding how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact as a condition for accommodating your request.  We will not ask you for an explanation of why you are making the request.

Breach Notification. If there is a breach of unsecured PHI concerning you, we may be required to notify you of this breach, including what happened and what you can do to protect yourself.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe we have violated your privacy rights, you have the right to file a complaint in writing with our Director, Tylene Channer at (208) 475-5701 or with the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses, (208) 334-3233.  We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.  

Notice of Hours of Operation

This notice outlines hours of operation outside of client sessions.  Please note that mental health issues will not be discussed over text message or email due to lack of confidentiality. Clients contacting therapist outside of session/business hours will be directed to voicemail under Sarah Powers (intake worker with Strive Counseling). If you are a Nampa Family Justice Center client you can also leave a message at 208-475-5701, on Tylene’s confidential voice mail. This notice will provide clients resources when therapist is not reachable or in session. All calls, texts, and/or emails will be returned during hours of operation at the earliest convenience. 

Out of office. Hours are subject to change at the therapist’s discretion to accommodate for personal and professional needs. Therapist will notify clients as this happens. 

Weekdays. Business hours are from 8am to 6pm Tuesday through Friday. Due to work load, therapist may or may not always be able to respond to clients outside of scheduled session or during business hours. Therapist will get back to clients at the soonest convenience in which the schedule allows. Calls, texts, and/or emails will not be taken after 6pm. 

Weekends. Therapist will not be accessible Saturday, Sunday, and may only respond to text or email on Mondays. Clients can leave a message and therapist will respond next business day or as soon as she is able. 

Therapy Phone. Please take note that calls are forwarded to an intake therapist, who will follow-up on contacting your designated therapist. 

Emergencies. If it is an emergency, client will need to call 911. 

Clients in crisis. If for any reason client is in crisis or suicidal, and it is outside of scheduled session hour or business hours, or is unable to get a hold of therapist, clients can utilize the following resources: 

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline – Hours of operation for text and chat are Monday through Friday from 3pm to midnight. Please call or text at 208-398-4357 (HELP). 
National Suicide Hotline – Hours of operation for text and chat are 24/7. Please call 1-800-273-8255, or chat online at Lifeline Chat http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat
Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741 for free 24/7 crisis support. 
Pathways Community Crisis Center of Southwest Idaho – This is a 24/7 crisis center located at 7192 Potomac Drive, Boise, Idaho 83704. Phone number is 208-489-8311. Clients can either call or drive there with no appointment needed. 


Client Rights and Responsibilities: 

Counseling is a voluntary act, and you have the right to choose counselors who best suit your needs. We will do our best to accommodate your needs or to give you an appropriate referral.

You have the right to be treated ethically by your counselor. You are also entitled to these rights regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or culture, or economic, education, or religious background. Counselors are required to adhere to the code of ethics adopted by the Idaho Social Work Licensing Board.

Sexual Intimacy between a counselor and a patient is NEVER appropriate, and should be reported to the Idaho Social Work Licensing Board.
As a partner in your own health care, you have the right to refuse treatment, providing you accept responsibility for the consequences of such a decision.  You have a responsibility to participate, to the degree possible, in understanding your behavioral health problems and in developing mutually agreed upon treatment goals.  You also have the responsibility to identify yourself and insurance coverage or changes in coverage when receiving behavioral health services.  You have the responsibility to provide your current provider with previous treatment records, if requested, as well as to provide accurate and complete medical information to any other health care professionals involved in the course of your treatment. You have the responsibility to be on time for your appointments and to notify your provider as far in advance as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment.  You have the responsibility to notify your behavioral health plan within 48 hours—or as soon as possible—if you are hospitalized or receive emergency care.  And, you have the responsibility to pay all required co-payments and deductibles as the time you receive behavioral health care services.
If you have any questions concerning your rights and/or ethical treatment, or if you wish to file a complaint, please contact the Idaho Social Work Licensing Board. The Idaho Social Worker Licensing Board has the general responsibility of regulating the practice of licensed professional social workers.  The licensure of any individual under the licensing laws of Idaho does not imply or constitute and endorsement of the social worker nor guarantee effectiveness of treatment.  The Idaho Social Work Licensing Board is through the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses, Owyhee Plaza, 1109 Main Street, Suite 220, Boise, Idaho 83702, phone number is 208-334-3233.

Assignment to a Counselor: We will attempt to match you with a professional counselor who can best meet your needs. The Staff will consider which counselors can accommodate your counseling needs, schedule and insurance financial needs.  Based on this information, assignments to counselors are made with consideration of appropriate fit and the availability of individual counselors.