Associates for
   Applied  Psychology
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SOME WORDS ABOUT YOUR PRIVACY 

Confidentiality of your personal information is a fundamental concern and we take our responsibility very seriously. The law protects the privacy of communications between patients and mental health clinicians. Generally, we cannot release information about your treatment without your written permission. All AAP mental health professionals are bound by these rules of confidentiality. All staff members have been trained about protecting your privacy and will not release information without the permission of AAP’s professional staff.

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            Under Texas law we are permitted or required to disclose                                                                  information without your consent:

 Abuse or neglect.  If we have cause to believe that a child under 18 has been or may be abused or neglected (including physical injury, substantial threat of harm, mental or emotional injury, or any kind of sexual contact or conduct), or that a child is a victim of a sexual offense, or that an elderly or disabled person is in a state of abuse, neglect or exploitation, the law requires that we make a report to the appropriate governmental agency, usually the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.  Once such report is filed, we may be required to provide additional information.

 Risk of harm. If we determine that there is a probability that the patient will inflict imminent physical injury on another, or that the patient will inflict imminent physical, mental or emotional harm upon him/herself, or others, we may be required to take protective action by disclosing information to medical or law enforcement personnel or by securing hospitalization of the patient.

 Legal actions. If a government agency requests information for health oversight activities, we may be required to respond. If a patient files a complaint or lawsuit against AAP or one of our staff, we may disclose relevant information regarding that patient in order to defend our position. If a patient files a worker’s compensation claim, we must, upon appropriate request, provide records relating to treatment or hospitalization for which compensation is being sought.

               These situations are unusual in our practice; we will attempt to                                                  confer with you before taking any action.

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Communicating with Insurers.  We do have contracts with several insurers, managed care companies, and other third party payors.  As required by HIPAA (Federal legislation governing healthcare privacy), we have a formal business associate contract with these businesses, in which they promise to maintain the confidentiality of this data except as specifically allowed in the contract or otherwise required by law. We are permitted to disclose certain aspects of your treatment (diagnosis, treatment method, etc.) to third parties under the authority of these Federally-mandated contracts.

Disclosures required by health insurers or to collect overdue fees are discussed in our Fee Agreement.

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If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information concerning your diagnosis and treatment, such information is protected by the psychologist-patient privilege law. We cannot provide any information without your (or your legal representative’s) written authorization, or a court order.  If you are involved in or contemplating litigation, you should consult with your attorney to determine whether a court would be likely to order us to disclose information. We cannot protect your confidential information if a court orders it to be released.

 

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