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PRIVACY POLICY

Updated June 27, 2022

Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC (“Open Lines” or “we”) provides holistic, highly personalized, and innovative solutions to help people communicate with confidence.

Open Lines understands how important privacy is to you. We protect that information carefully and handle it with discretion.

This privacy policy (“Privacy Policy” or “Policy”) describes how Open Lines collects, uses and shares personal information in connection with Open Lines’ website at www.openlines.com, social media accounts and patient portals that Open Lines uses to as needed to provide from time to time (collectively, “Platform”). This Policy is part of our Terms of Use for the Platform (the “Terms”).

Open Lines’ registered patients’ personal health data is also governed by our Health Information Privacy Policy (HIPP). Patients of Open Lines have additional rights and obligations set forth in additional disclosures, policies, agreements and under the law that, along with the HIPP, govern the relationship between registered patients and Open Lines. Such registered patient disclosures, policies and agreements, along with the HIPP, are referred to as “Patient Policies”. To the extent there is any conflict between this Policy on the one hand, and the Patient Policies, the Patient Policies will control.

Our Services and the Platform may be used by adults and children who have the consent and supervision of a parent or guardian.

MODIFICATIONS

Open Lines may modify this Policy and/or the Terms from time to time, which will not be effective until posting and then only going forward. We will provide notice of changes via the Platform and other methods if we believe that is needed.

You agree to visit the Platform from time to time to ensure you are aware of updates. You do not have to agree to the modified terms but if you do not agree, you must stop using the Platform and we will discuss and/or our services.

You agree that Your use of the Platform or any services we provide after notice of a modification constitutes your confirmation of agreement to the Policy and Terms then in effect at the time of your use.

COLLECTION OF NON-PERSONAL INFORMATION

We may collect non-personally identifiable information regarding your use of the Platform or our services. We may utilize third party software to collect this information and may change our data collection methods, providers and/or software, at any time in our sole discretion.

If you do not want non-personally identifiable information collected, it may be possible for you to adjust settings on the electronic equipment you use to access the Platform (e.g., a stationary or mobile computer, phone or tablet) (your “Device”). However, we cannot guarantee that such settings may be changed or will be effective and you assume all risks associated with your access to the Platform.

COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

We also collect Personal Information about you. By “Personal Information”, we mean information that can be used to identify a specific individual. Personal healthcare data (PHI) is addressed in the HIPP.

The Personal Information is primarily what you provide to us when using the Platform or obtaining our services. On the Platform, you provide your contact information for initial communication about our services.

Device identifier, IP addresses, or “cookies” may also be collected. This type of information, if collected, is collected through our software referred to as “tracking” or “analytics” technology.

Registered Patients also provide Personal Information to vendors that are necessary for Open Lines to provide service. Our portal for Registered Patients is currently TheraPlatform and information about their service can be obtained at https://www.theraplatform.com. Payments are made through InvoiceASAP and information about their service can be found here www.invoiceasap.com.

HOW WE USE PERSONAL INFORMATION

We will use Personal Information to enable us to provide the service you have requested.

As referenced above, we may share your information with vendors that are necessary to provide service to you. Those vendors are subject to change in our discretion.

We may use Personal Information to identify you when you visit our Platform, to improve the operation and usefulness of our Platform, to enable us to improve our services and products, and comply with applicable laws and law enforcement.

We use tracking technology by Google Analytics to understand how users use our site so as to enhance the user experience on our Site. If you wish to opt-out please go to https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en-GB.

We may use Personal Information to identify you when you visit our Platform, to improve the operation and usefulness of our Platform, to enable us to improve our services and products, and comply with applicable laws and law enforcement.

You have the opportunity at any time to request your information.

HOW WE PROTECT PERSONAL INFORMATION

Generally accepted standards are used to protect your Personal Information, both during transmission and once we receive it, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant security is used for all personal healthcare information.

No company is immune to criminal actors however, and no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. You acknowledge the inherent risk and agree Open Lines will not be liable for security breaches.

This PRIVACY NOTICE FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS supplements the Policy for residents of the State of California. We adopt this notice to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) and other California privacy laws, if applicable. Any terms defined in the CCPA have the same meaning when used in this notice.

Information We Collect

Category Examples Collected
A. Identifiers. A real name, alias, postal address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, Internet Protocol address, email address, account name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, passport number, or other similar identifiers. YES
B. Personal information categories listed in the California Customer Records statute (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80(e)). A name, signature, Social Security number, physical characteristics or description, address, telephone number, passport number, driver’s license or state identification card number, insurance policy number, education, employment, employment history, bank account number, credit card number, debit card number, or any other financial information, medical information, or health insurance information. Some personal information included in this category may overlap with other categories. YES
C. Protected classification characteristics under California or federal law. Age (40 years or older), race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, religion or creed, marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, sex (including gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy or childbirth and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, veteran or military status, genetic information (including familial genetic information). YES (Registered Patients)
D. Commercial information. Records of personal property, products or services purchased, obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies. NO
E. Biometric information. Genetic, physiological, behavioral, and biological characteristics, or activity patterns used to extract a template or other identifier or identifying information, such as, fingerprints, faceprints, and voiceprints, iris or retina scans, keystroke, gait, or other physical patterns, and sleep, health, or exercise data. YES (Registered Patients)
F. Internet or other similar network activity. Browsing history, search history, information on a consumer’s interaction with a website, application, or advertisement. YES
G. Geolocation data. Physical location or movements. NO
H. Sensory data. Audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information. YES (Registered Patients)
I. Professional or employment-related information. Current or past job history or performance evaluations. YES (Registered Patients)
J. Non-public education information (per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g, 34 C.F.R. Part 99)). Education records directly related to a student maintained by an educational institution or party acting on its behalf, such as grades, transcripts, class lists, student schedules, student identification codes, student financial information, or student disciplinary records. YES (Registered Patients)
K. Inferences drawn from other personal information. Profile reflecting a person’s preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes. YES (Registered Patients)

Personal information does not include:

  • Publicly available information from government records.
  • De-identified or aggregated consumer information.
  • Information excluded from the CCPA’s scope, like:
    • health or medical information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) or clinical trial data;
    • personal information covered by certain sector-specific privacy laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) or California Financial Information Privacy Act (FIPA), and the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994.

We obtain the categories of personal information listed above from the following categories of sources:

  • Directly from our clients or their agents. For example, from documents that our clients provide to us related to the services for which they engage us.
  • Indirectly from our clients or their agents. For example, through information we collect from our clients in the course of providing services to them.
  • Directly and indirectly from activity on our website, e.g., from submissions through our website.
  • From third-parties that interact with us in connection with the services we perform, such as our registered patient platform and payment processor.

Use of Personal Information
We may use or disclose the personal information we collect for one or more of the following business purposes:

  • To fulfill or meet the reason for which the information is provided. For example, if you provide us with personal information in a Case History form in order for us to conduct an assessment, we will use that information to prepare for the assessment and may include it in our documentation of the assessment.
  • To provide you with information, products or services that you request from us.
  • To provide you with email alerts, event registrations and other notices concerning our products or services, or events or news, that may be of interest to you.
  • To carry out our obligations and enforce our rights arising from any contracts entered into between you and us, including for billing and collections.
  • To improve our website and present its contents to you.
  • For testing, research, analysis and product development.
  • As necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property or safety of us, our clients or others.
  • To respond to law enforcement requests and as required by applicable law, court order, or governmental regulations.
  • As described to you when collecting your personal information or as otherwise set forth in the CCPA.
  • To evaluate or conduct a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which personal information held by us is among the assets transferred.

We will not collect additional categories of personal information or use the personal information we collected for materially different, unrelated, or incompatible purposes without providing you notice.

In the preceding twelve (12) months, we have not sold any personal information.

Your Rights and Choices
The CCPA provides consumers (California residents) with specific rights regarding their personal information. This section describes your CCPA rights and explains how to exercise those rights.

Access to Specific Information and Data Portability Rights

You have the right to request that we disclose certain information to you about our collection and use of your personal information over the past 12 months. Once we receive and confirm your verifiable consumer request, we will disclose to you, if applicable:

  • The categories of personal information we collected about you.
  • The categories of sources for the personal information we collected about you.
  • Our business or commercial purpose for collection and use of that personal information.
  • The categories of third parties with whom we share that personal information.
  • The specific pieces of personal information we collected about you (also called a data portability request).
  • If we disclosed or sold your personal information for a business purpose, a list for each category of activity, and identifying the personal information categories that each category of recipient obtained.

Deletion Request Rights
You have the right to request that we delete any of your personal information that we collected from you and retained, subject to certain exceptions. Once we receive and confirm your verifiable consumer request, we will delete (and direct our service providers to delete) your personal information from our records, unless an exception applies.

We may deny your deletion request if retaining the information is necessary for us or our service providers to:

  1. Complete the transaction for which we collected the personal information, provide a good or service that you requested, take actions reasonably anticipated within the context of our ongoing business relationship with you, or otherwise perform our contract with you.
  2. Detect security incidents, protect against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity, or prosecute those responsible for such activities.
  3. Debug products to identify and repair errors that impair existing intended functionality.
  4. Exercise free speech, ensure the right of another consumer to exercise their free speech rights, or exercise another right provided for by law.
  5. Comply with the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Cal. Penal Code § 1546 seq.).
  6. Engage in public or peer-reviewed scientific, historical, or statistical research in the public interest that adheres to all other applicable ethics and privacy laws, when the information’s deletion may likely render impossible or seriously impair the research’s achievement, if you previously provided informed consent.
  7. Enable solely internal uses that are reasonably aligned with consumer expectations based on your relationship with us.
  8. Comply with a legal obligation.
  9. Make other internal and lawful uses of that information that are compatible with the context in which you provided it.

Exercising Access, Data Portability, and Deletion Rights
To exercise the access, data portability, and deletion rights described above, please submit a verifiable consumer request to us by either:

  • Calling us at: 212-430-6800
  • Emailing us at: care@openlines.com
  • Writing us at:
    Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC
    Attn: Legal Compliance
    252 W. 76th Street, Suite 1A
    New York, NY 10023
  • Faxing us at: (646) 838-1230

Only you or a person registered with the California Secretary of State that you authorize to act on your behalf, may make a verifiable consumer request related to your personal information. You may also make a verifiable consumer request on behalf of your minor child.

You may only make a verifiable consumer request for access or data portability twice within a 12-month period. The verifiable consumer request must:

  • Provide sufficient information that allows us to reasonably verify you are the person about whom we collected personal information or an authorized representative.
  • Describe your request with sufficient detail that allows us to properly understand, evaluate, and respond to it.

We cannot respond to your request unless we can verify your identity or authority to make the request and confirm the personal information relates to you.

Response Timing and Format
We endeavor to respond to a verifiable consumer request within 45 days of its receipt. If we require more time (up to 90 days), we will inform you of the reason and extension period in writing. Any disclosures we provide will only cover the 12-month period preceding the verifiable consumer request’s receipt. The response we provide will also explain the reasons we cannot comply with a request, if applicable. For data portability requests, we will select a format to provide your personal information that is readily useable and should allow you to transmit the information from one entity to another entity without hindrance.

We do not charge a fee to process or respond to your verifiable consumer request unless it is excessive, repetitive, or manifestly unfounded. If we determine that the request warrants a fee, we will tell you why we made that decision and provide you with a cost estimate before completing your request.

Non-Discrimination
We will not discriminate against you for exercising any of your CCPA or other legal rights.

Contact Information
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the phone number and/or email address listed above.

TERMS OF USE

Updated June 27, 2022

Welcome to Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC’s (“Open Lines”) website www.openlines.com (the “Site”), social media and other platforms that Open Lines makes available from time to time (collectively, “Platform(s)”). These Terms of Use and all of the guidelines, rules and directions published anywhere on the Platform, including the Privacy Policy, are referred to as the “Terms” or “Terms of Use”.

The Platform may be used by adults and children who have the consent and supervision of a parent or guardian.

For easier reading, the Terms define certain commonly used words or phrases. Any individual or entity accessing or using the Platform is referred to herein as a “User,” “You” or “Your.”

1. The Open Lines Platform is Provided in Reliance Agreement to the Terms

Your use of the Platform constitutes your agreement to the Terms.

If you do not agree to and understand the Terms, do not use the Platform.

Open Lines may modify the Terms from time to time, in its sole discretion. We will provide notice of changes via the Platform, and may also give notice via other methods, in our sole discretion, such as email. The modified Terms will be effective upon posting on a going forward basis.

You agree to visit the Platform from time to time to ensure you are aware of updates. You do not have to agree to the modified terms but if you do not agree, you must stop using the Platform.

You agree that Your use of the Platform or any services we provide after notice of a modification constitutes your confirmation of agreement to the Terms then in effect.

2. How the Terms Apply to Registered Patients

Use of the Platform by individuals who become patients of Open Lines (“Registered Patients”) is governed by additional terms, including our Health Information Privacy Policy (HIPP).

Registered Patients have rights and obligations set forth in additional disclosures, policies, agreements and under the law. Those rights and obligations, along with the HIPP, govern the relationship between Registered Patients and Open Lines. Such Registered Patient disclosures, policies and agreements, along with the HIPP, may be referred to as “Patient Policies”.

For Registered Patients only, to the extent there is any conflict between the Terms on the one hand, and the Patient Policies, the Patient Policies will control.

3. No Professional or Medical Advice

The Platform may contain content regarding a variety of topics that might require professional or expert assistant such as health related topics. All content on the Platform is for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online!

4. Limited Permission

Open Lines provides access to the Platform in its sole discretion and solely for your personal use consistent with the Terms. No right or license to use the Platform other than as expressly set forth in the Terms is granted. All rights are held by Open Lines.

We reserve the right, in our sole and absolute discretion, to block and/or refuse to allow use of the Platform by one or more users, including you, at any time and for any reason. You agree that Open Lines shall not be liable to You for the effect of any modification of the Platform, or for any consequence of your access to the Platform being terminated.

5. Modifications to the Platform and Access Changes

We reserve the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Platform or any part or function thereof with or without notice. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, immediately and without notice to suspend or terminate your access the Platform. You agree that we shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any such modification, suspension or discontinuance.

6. Errors and Omissions

Occasionally there may be information on our Platform that contains typographical errors, inaccuracies or omissions. We reserve the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, and to change or update information on the Platform at any time without prior notice.

7. Ownership of the Platform & All Content

You acknowledge and agree that the Platform is owned by Open Lines and that the Platform and its component parts (such as the software, blog articles, or photos) is protected by applicable intellectual property and other laws. You acknowledge and agree that you do not acquire any license or ownership rights in, including any intellectual property rights, through your use of the Platform. All input, suggestions, or requests for modification of existing or later implemented aspects of the Platform shall be owned by Open Lines.

Except as expressly authorized by us, pursuant to these Terms or other written agreement, you agree not to copy or create derivative works based on the Platform.

8. Securing Credentials

If you are permitted to create an account on the Platform, You are solely responsible for controlling your credentials and you shall not share those credentials with any third party. You are responsible for all activities that occur under your credentials unless you have notified us in advance and received explicit confirmation of receipt of the notice.

9. Respecting Intellectual Property and Other Rights

The Platform may contain content that is proprietary to third parties or information subject to disclosure restrictions. You agree that you shall not use any information or content obtained from the Platform for any purpose other than using the Platform in accordance with the Terms.

Users are prohibited from using the Platform in a manner that interferes with or would reasonably be expected to negatively affect other users’ ability to interact with the Platform. Without limitation as to other restrictions, users shall not use or attempt to use the Platform for the purpose of:

  • Harassment, threatening or engaging in abusive conduct;
  • Communicating in any manner that is libelous or defamatory or invades the privacy of any person;
  • Communicating expressions of hatred, bigotry, racism or pornography;
  • Violating any law, committing any deception, or breaching any contractual or fiduciary obligations; and/or
  • Transmitting advertisements without prior written authorization from Open Lines.

You acknowledge that the information and content on the Platform is made available solely based on the existence of and adherence to these Terms by users. You, a user, agree that you will not:

  • use or attempt to use the Platform to transmit any harmful or unwanted computer code or software, including but not limited to viruses, malware, spyware or ransomware;
  • interfere with, disrupt or attempt to disrupt the operation of the Platform, or any servers or networks connected to the Platform;
  • override, circumvent, or interfere with, any security or Platform access controls, or attempt any of the foregoing;
  • use any automated method to access or use the Platform without prior written authorization from Open Lines;
  • process, computer code or software, to “scrape” the information and content on the Platform without prior written authorization from Open Lines; and
  • reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to derive the source code for the Platform.
10. Digital Millennium Copyright Act

We respect the copyright and intellectual property interests of others. Although we are not obligated to and do not monitor or scan content or user conduct for improprieties, it is our policy not to permit materials known by us to infringe another party’s copyright to remain on the Platform.

If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, you should provide us with written notice that contains the following information required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), 17 U.S.C. 512:

  • (a) a physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
  • (b) identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works;
  • (c) identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material;
  • (d) information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number and, if available, an e-mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted;
  • (e) a statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law; and
  • (f) a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

All DMCA notices should be sent to:

Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC
Attn: Legal Compliance
252 W. 76th Street, Suite 1A
New York, NY 10023
Ph: 212-430-6800
Email: care@openlines.com

11. Choice of Law

These Terms and the relationship between you and us shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York without regard to its conflict of law provisions. You agree to submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts located within the county of New York, in the State of New York. If any provision of these Terms is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties’ intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of these Terms remain in full force and effect.

12. Third-Party Resources and User Generated Information

We may provide links to third party websites and resources, and may provide access or expose you to content at such websites or part of such resources including but not limited to interactive platform content, social media, user conduct and user generated information (“Third Party Resources”).

When Third Party Resources are provided, it is for general interest purposes only. We are not endorsing the Third Party Resource or giving an opinion on the Third Party Resource. We do not regularly review Third Party Resources and it is possible the Third Party Resource has changed or is no longer available, is of no interest to you, or may cause damage (such as with a computer virus).

When you choose to engage with a Third Party Resource, such as to publish or share information through Third Party Resources, we may have no or limited control over that activity depending on the Third Party Resource (e.g., if you post on our Instagram account, you are posting to Instagram also, a company we have no control over). You should assume that your activity may be accessed by any person using the Internet in any part of the world and can be found using independent search engines.

If you choose to engage with any Third Party Resource, you acknowledge that it is at your own risk. Without limitation, You are responsible for compliance with all terms and policies of Third Party Resources, including Third Party Resource that are hosting Open Lines accounts or those engaged to fulfill requests by you.

You acknowledge that, unless otherwise expressly stated, Open Lines does not control the Third Party Resources and You agree that Open Lines shall not be liable for any interaction with a Third Party Resource.

13. Disclosures, Warnings and Disclaimer of Warranties

Open Lines maintains these Terms to protect Open Lines’s operations and rights, and because Open Lines desires to foster the integrity of the Platform. However, you understand that these objectives are aspirational. Open Lines cannot and does not guarantee that the Platform will always adhere to Open Lines’ Terms.

YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THE PLATFORM IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. THE PLATFORM IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS.

WE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE OPERATION OF THE PLATFORM OR THE INFORMATION OR CONTENT INCLUDED ON THE PLATFORM.

WE MAKE NO WARRANTY THAT THE PLATFORM OR ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED THROUGH THE PLATFORM WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE, OR MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

ANY MATERIAL OBTAINED FROM THROUGH THE USE OF THE PLATFORM IS OBTAINED AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND THAT YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES THEREOF.

NO INFORMATION, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU FROM US OR FROM OR THROUGH THE SERVICE SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THESE TERMS OF SERVICE.

14. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT WE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM: (i) THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE PLATFORM; (ii) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA; OR (iii) ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO THE SERVICE.

15. Indemnification

You agree to hold Open Lines, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, and each of their respective successors and assigns (collectively, the “Indemnified Persons”), harmless from, and indemnify them for, all damages, costs, expenses and other liabilities, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses, relating to any claim arising out of or related to your use of the Platform.

16. EXCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS

SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. ACCORDINGLY, SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

HEALTH INFORMATION PRIVACY POLICY

Updated June 27, 2022

WHY ARE YOU GETTING THIS NOTICE?

This notice describes the health information privacy practices of Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC (referred to as “OLSC”, “our Practice” or “the Practice” in this notice). We are committed and have duties to protect your privacy, provide notice of our privacy practices and adhere to the terms of this notice.

We want to ensure that you are aware of and in agreement with the terms of our notice and therefore will ask you to sign an “acknowledgment” indicating that you have been provided with this notice.

Our Practice as used in this Notice includes:

  • Any health care professional who participates in our treatment of you at our office, in a school, or in your home.
  • All employees, medical staff, trainees, students, and volunteers who work participate in our treatment of you at our office, in schools or in your home. The privacy practices described in this notice do not apply to members of our medical staff or other members of our workforce when they treat you while working for other practices or medical facilities, in which case treatment falls under the privacy policy of the facility where treatment is provided.
WHAT HEALTH INFORMATION IS PROTECTED?

Protected Health Information is all “individually identifiable health information” which is information, including demographic data, that relates to:

  • the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
  • the provision of health care to the individual, or
  • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual,
  • where such information identifies the individual or there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.

Some examples of protected health information are:

  • Information indicating that you are a patient of the Practice or that you are receiving treatment or other health-related services from our Practice;
  • Information about your health condition (such as a disease you may have);
  • Information about health care products or services you have received or may receive in the future (such as an evaluation); or
  • Information about your health care benefits under an insurance plan (such as whether a treatment is covered);
  • when combined with:
  • Demographic information (such as your name, address, or insurance status);
  • Unique numbers that may identify you (such as your social security number, your phone number, or your driver’s license number); or
  • Other types of information that may identify who you are.
TELEREHABILITATION SERVICES PRIVACY POLICY

Confidentiality with the Internet and Web-camera:

At your request, we will scan the room with a video camera to show you that we are alone in the room during the evaluation and treatment session.

You will also be given the opportunity to ask anyone that is in the room on your end to leave prior to an evaluation or treatment session.

Although reasonable security measures will be taken to ensure your privacy, due to the fact that evaluation and treatment services are being delivered over the internet, and signals could be intercepted, absolute confidentiality and privacy cannot be guaranteed.

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

THIS SECTION PROVIDES ADDITIONAL DETAILS REGARDING HOW PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND/OR DISCLOSED. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

We use health information about you for treatment, to obtain payment for treatment, for administrative purposes and to evaluate the quality of care that you receive. Continuity of care is part of treatment and your records may be shared with other providers to whom you are referred. Information may be shared by paper mail, electronic mail, fax or other methods.

We may use or disclose identifiable health information about you without your authorization for several reasons. Subject to certain requirements, we may give out health information without your authorization for public health purposes, for auditing purposes, for research studies and for emergencies. We provide information when required by law, such as for enforcement in specific circumstances.

We will not use or disclose protected health information without an individual’s written authorization unless the use or disclosure is for treatment, payment or health care operations or otherwise permitted or required by law. If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose information, you can later revoke that authorization to stop any future uses and disclosures.

We may change our policies at any time and will provide notice of such changes on our website. The modified policy will only apply to protected health information obtained or created after notice is given, unless otherwise permitted by law.

You can request a copy of our notice and obtain more information about our privacy practices by contacting the person listed below.

In general, when we are using or disclosing protected health information, we make reasonable efforts to use, disclose, and request only the minimum amount of protected health information needed to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request.

1. Treatment, Payment, and Business Operations
We may use your health information or share it with others in order to treat your condition, obtain payment for that treatment, and run our health care operations.

a. Treatment.
We may share your health information with employees at the Practice who are involved in taking care of you. They may, in turn, use that information to diagnose or treat you. A clinician may share your health information with another clinician at the Practice to determine how to diagnose or treat you. All OSLC employees and volunteers have signed comprehensive Protected Health Information (PHI) Agreements agreeing to protect patient confidentiality. We may also share your health information with other doctors who referred you to us and/or to whom you have been referred for further health care. In situations where applicable, we may also share your child’s health information with relevant teachers, school administrators, or New York City Department of Education officials.

b. Payment.
We may use your health information or share it with others so that we may obtain payment for your health care services. For example, we may share information about you with your health insurance company. This will help us obtain reimbursement after we have treated you or determine whether your health insurance will cover your treatment. We might also need to inform your health insurance company about your health condition in order to obtain pre-approval for your treatment, such as admitting you to the Practice for a particular type of surgery. Finally, we may share your information with other health care providers and payers for their payment activities.

c. Health Care Operations.
We may use protected health information for any of the following activities:

  • (a) quality assessment and improvement activities, including case management and care coordination;
  • (b) competency assurance activities, including provider or health plan performance evaluation, credentialing, and accreditation;
  • (c) conducting or arranging for medical reviews, audits, or legal services, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs;
  • (d) specified insurance functions, such as underwriting, risk rating, and reinsuring risk;
  • (e) business planning, development, management, and administration; and
  • (f) business management and general administrative activities of the entity, including but not limited to: de-identifying protected health information, creating a limited data set, and certain fundraising for the benefit of the covered entity.

d. Appointment Reminders, Treatment Alternatives, Benefits, and Services. In the course of providing treatment to you, we may use your health information to contact you with a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or services at our facility. We may also use your health information in order to recommend possible treatment alternatives or health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

e. Business Associates.
We may share your health information with an insurance company, law firm, or a risk management organization in order to obtain professional advice about how to manage risk and legal liability, including insurance or legal claims. We may also share your health information with an accounting firm in order to obtain advice on legal compliance.

If we do disclose your health information to a business associate, we shall have a written contract to ensure that our business associate also protects the privacy of your health information.

g. Communications Via E-Mail
In order to communicate information needed to treat you, obtain payment for services, or conduct our business operations, our staff may communicate information about you via email. However, you will not be contacted by email unless we have obtained your permission to do so, or we are responding to an inquiry that you initiated via email.

2. Family and Friends
We may share your health information with family and friends involved in your care, without your written authorization. We will give you an opportunity to object unless there is insufficient time because of a medical emergency. In a medical emergency, we will discuss your preferences with you as soon as the emergency is over. We will follow your wishes unless we are required by law to do otherwise.

If you do not object, we may share your health information with a family member, relative, or close personal friend who is involved in your care or payment for that care. We may also notify a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care about your location and general condition here at the Practice. In some cases, we may need to share your information with a disaster relief organization that will help us notify these persons.

3. Research
We will request written authorization from you or your agent with power of attorney (POA) before using your health information or sharing it with others in order to conduct research. Under no circumstances, however, would we allow researchers to use your name or identity publicly.

With written authorization from your or your agent with power of attorney (POA) we may also release your health information to people who are preparing a future research project, so long as any information identifying you does not leave our facility. In the unfortunate event of your death, with written authorization from your or your agent with power of attorney (POA) we may share your health information with people who are conducting research using the information of deceased persons, as long as they agree not to remove from our facility any information that identifies you.

4. Completely De-identified or Partially De-identified Information.
We may use and disclose your health information if we have removed any information that has the potential to identify you, so that the health information is “completely de-identified.” We may also use and disclose “partially de-identified” health information about you if the person who will receive the information signs an agreement to protect the privacy of the information as required by federal and state law. Partially de-identified health information will not contain any information that would directly identify you (such as your name, street address, social security number, phone number, fax number, electronic mail address, web site address, or driver’s license number).

5. Incidental Disclosures
While we will take reasonable steps to safeguard the privacy of your health information, certain disclosures of your health information may occur during or as an unavoidable result of our otherwise permissible uses or disclosures of your health information. For example, during the course of a treatment session, other patients in the treatment area may see, or overhear discussion of, your health information.

6. Public Need
a. As Required by Law.
We may use or disclose your health information if we are required by law to do so. We also will notify you of these uses and disclosures if notice is required by law.

b. Public Health Activities.
We may disclose your health information to authorized public health officials (or a foreign government agency collaborating with such officials) so they may carry out their public health activities. For example, we may share your health information with government officials who are responsible for controlling disease, injury, or disability.

We may also disclose your health information to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or be at risk for contracting or spreading the disease, if a law permits us to do so. We may also release some health information about you to your employer if your employer hires us to provide you with a physical exam. This could happen if we were to discover that you have a work-related injury or disease that your employer must know about in order to comply with employment laws.

c. Victims of Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence.
We may release your health information to a public health authority that is authorized to receive reports of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. For example, we may report your information to government officials if we reasonably believe that you have been a victim of such abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will make every effort to obtain your permission before releasing this information, but in some cases we may be required or authorized to act without your permission.

d. Health Oversight Activities.
We may release your health information to government agencies authorized to conduct audits, investigations, and inspections of our facility. These government agencies monitor the operation of the health care system, government benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and compliance with government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.

e. Product Monitoring, Repair, and Recall.
We may disclose your health information to a person or company that is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration for the purpose of: (1) reporting or tracking product defects or problems; (2) repairing, replacing, or recalling defective or dangerous products; or (3) monitoring the performance of a product after it has been approved for use by the general public.

f. Lawsuits and Disputes.
We may disclose your health information if we are ordered to do so by a court or administrative tribunal that is handling a lawsuit or other dispute.

g. Law Enforcement.
We may disclose your health information to law enforcement officials for the following reasons:

  • To comply with court orders or laws that we are required to follow;
  • To assist law enforcement officers with identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, witness, or missing person;
  • If you have been the victim of a crime and we determine that: (1) we have been unable to obtain your general written consent because of an emergency or your incapacity; (2) law enforcement officials need this information immediately to carry out their law enforcement duties; and (3) in our professional judgment disclosure to these officers is in your best interests;
  • If we suspect that your death resulted from criminal conduct;
  • If necessary to report a crime that occurred on our property; or
  • If necessary to report a crime discovered during an offsite treatment.

h. To Avert a Serious And Imminent Threat to Health or Safety.
We may use your health information or share it with others when necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety, or the health or safety of another person or the public. In such cases, we will only share your information with someone able to help prevent the threat. We may also disclose your health information to law enforcement officers: 1) if you tell us that you participated in a violent crime that may have caused serious physical harm to another person, or 2) if we determine that you escaped from lawful custody (such as a prison or mental health institution).

i. National Security and Intelligence Activities or Protective Services.
We may disclose your health information to authorized federal officials who are conducting national security and intelligence activities or providing protective services to the President or other important officials.

j. Military and Veterans.
If you are in the Armed Forces, we may disclose health information about you to appropriate military command authorities for activities they deem necessary to carry out their military mission.

We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

k. Inmates and Correctional Institutions.
If you are an inmate, or if you are detained by a law enforcement officer, we may disclose your health information to the prison officers or law enforcement officers. This may happen if it is necessary to provide you with health care, or to maintain safety, security, and good order at the place where you are confined. This includes sharing information that is necessary to protect the health and safety of other inmates or persons involved in supervising or transporting inmates.

7. Workers’ Compensation.
We may disclose your health information for workers’ compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries.

8. Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors.
In the unfortunate event of your death, we may disclose your health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to determine the cause of death. We may also release this information to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

9. Organ and Tissue Donation.
In the unfortunate event of your death, we may disclose your health information to organizations that procure or store organs, eyes, or other tissues so that these organizations may investigate whether donation or transplantation is possible under applicable laws.

YOUR RIGHTS TO ACCESS AND CONTROL YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

We want you to know that you have the following rights to access and control your health information. These rights are important because they will help you make sure that the health information we have about you is accurate. They may also help you control the way we use your information and share it with others, or the way we communicate with you about your medical matters.

Complaints
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 the person listed below. You may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed below can provide you the appropriate address upon request.

1. Your Right to Inspect and Obtain Copies of Your Records.
In most cases you have the right to look at or get a copy of health information about you that we use to make decisions about you.

You also have the right to receive a list of instances where we have disclosed health information about you for reasons other than treatment, payment or related administrative purposes and other than when you explicitly authorized it.

If you believe that information in your records is incorrect or if information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information.

a. How to Make Your Request.
To inspect or obtain a copy of your health information, please submit a request in writing to Dr. Jessica Galgano (Executive Director). You or your agent with power of attorney (POA) may submit this written request by mail, email, or fax:

Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC
Attn: Jessica Galgano
252 W 76th St, Suite 1A
New York, NY 10023
Secure Fax: (646) 838-1230
Email: Care@OpenLines.com

b. Cost.
If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies we use to fulfill your request. The standard fee is $0.75 per page and must generally be paid before or at the time we give the copies to you.

c. Response Time.
We will respond to your request for inspection of records within 10 days. We ordinarily will respond to requests for copies within 30 days if the information is located in our facility and within 60 days if it is located off-site at another facility. If we need additional time to respond to a request for copies, we will notify you in writing within the time frame above to explain the reason for the delay and when you can expect to have a final answer to your request.

d. If Your Request is Denied.
Under certain very limited circumstances, we may deny your request to inspect or obtain a copy of your information. If we do, we will provide you with a summary of the information instead. We will also provide a written notice that explains our reasons for providing only a summary and a complete description of your rights to have that decision reviewed and how you can exercise those rights. The notice will also include information on how to file a complaint about these issues with us or with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. If we have reason to deny only part of your request, we will provide complete access to the remaining parts after excluding the information we cannot let you inspect or copy.

2. Your Right to Amend Records.
If you believe that the health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept in our records.

a. How to Make Your Request.
To request an amendment, please write to the Executive Director. Your request should include the reasons why you think we should make the amendment.

b. Response Time.
Ordinarily we will respond to your request within 60 days. If we need additional time to respond, we will notify you in writing within 60 days to explain the reason for the delay and when you can expect to have a final answer to your request.

c. If Your Request is Denied.
If we deny part or your entire request, we will provide a written notice that explains our reasons for doing so. You will have the right to have certain information related to your requested amendment included in your records. For example, if you disagree with our decision, you will have an opportunity to submit a statement explaining your disagreement, which we will include in your records. We will also include information on how to file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. These procedures will be explained in more detail in any written denial notice we send you.

3. Your Right to An Accounting of Disclosures.
You have a right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This report identifies certain other persons or organizations to whom we have disclosed your health information. The accounting does not include routine disclosures we have made for treatment, payment, and operations. It also does not include disclosures we have made with your written authorization.

a. How to Make Your Request.
To request an accounting of disclosures, please write to Jessica Galgano (Executive Director). Your request must state a time period within the past six years for the disclosures you want us to include. For example, you may request a list of the disclosures that we made between January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021. You may submit this written request by mail, email, or fax:

Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC
Attn: Jessica Galgano
252 W 76th St, Suite 1A
New York, NY 10023
Secure Fax: (646) 838-1230
Email: Care@OpenLines.com

b. Cost.
You have a right to receive one accounting every 12-months without charge. However, we may charge you for the cost of providing any additional accounting in that same 12-month period. We will always notify you of any cost involved so that you may choose to withdraw or modify your request before any costs are incurred.

c. Response Time.
Ordinarily we will respond to your request for an accounting within 60 days. If we need additional time to prepare the accounting you have requested, we will notify you in writing about the reason for the delay and the date when you can expect to receive the accounting. In rare cases, we may have to delay providing you with the accounting without notifying you because a law enforcement official or government agency has asked us to do so.

d. What is NOT Included in the Accounting of Disclosures?
An accounting of disclosures does not describe the ways that your health information has been shared within and between the Practice and the facilities listed at the beginning of this notice. We are not required to include this information as long as all other protections described in this Notice of Privacy Practices have been followed.

An accounting of disclosures also does not include information about the following disclosures:

  • Disclosures we made to you or your personal representative;
  • Disclosures we made pursuant to your written authorization;
  • Disclosures we made for treatment, payment, or business operations;
  • Disclosures made to your friends and family involved in your care or payment for your care;
  • Disclosures that were incidental to permissible uses and disclosures of your health information (for example, when information is overheard by another patient passing by);
  • Disclosures of limited portions of partially de-identified information, for purposes of research, public health, or our business operations;
  • Disclosures made to federal officials for national security and intelligence activities;
  • Disclosures about inmates to correctional institutions or law enforcement officers;

4. Your Right to Request Additional Privacy Protections
You have the right to request that we further restrict the way we use and disclose your health information to treat your condition, collect payment for that treatment, or run our business operations. You may also request that we limit how we disclose information about you to family or friends involved in your care. For example, you could request that we not disclose information about a surgery you had.

a. How to Make Your Request.
To request restrictions, please write to Jessica Galgano (Executive Director). Your request should include (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit how we use the information, how we share it with others, or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply. You may submit this written request by mail, email, or fax:

Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC
Attn: Jessica Galgano
252 W 76th St, Suite 1A
New York, NY 10023
Secure Fax: (646) 838-1230
Email: Care@OpenLines.com

b. We are Not Required to Agree.
We are not required to agree to your request for a restriction, and in some cases the restriction you request may not be permitted under law. However, if we do agree, we will be bound by our agreement unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment or comply with the law. Once we have agreed to a restriction, you have the right to revoke the restriction at any time. Under some circumstances, we will also have the right to revoke the restriction as long as we notify you before doing so. In other cases, we will need your permission before we can revoke the restriction.

5. Your Right to Request Confidential Communications.
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your medical matters in a more confidential way by requesting that we communicate with you by alternative means or at alternative locations. For example, you may ask that we contact you at home instead of at work.

How to Make Your Request.
To request more confidential communications, please write to Jessica Galgano (Executive Director). We will not ask you the reason for your request, and we will try to accommodate all reasonable requests. Please specify in your request how or where you wish to be contacted, and how payment for your health care will be handled if we communicate with you through this alternative method or location.

You may submit this written request by mail, email, or fax:

Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC
Attn: Jessica Galgano
252 W 76th St, Suite 1A
New York, NY 10023
Secure Fax: (646) 838-1230
Email: Care@OpenLines.com

REQUEST FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Please sign the Notice of Privacy Practices Acknowledgment in the OLSC registration packet. By signing the Notice of Privacy Practices Acknowledgment, you acknowledge that you have been provided access to this notice.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Address:
Open Lines Speech and Communication PLLC
Attn: Jessica Galgano
252 W 76th St, Suite 1A
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 430-6800
Secure Fax: (646) 838-1230
Emails: Care@OpenLines.com

APPENDIX:

CONFIDENTIALITY OF HIV-RELATED INFORMATION, MENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION AND PSYCHOTHERAPY NOTES, AND GENETIC INFORMATION

The privacy and confidentiality of some types of information maintained by this Practice is protected by Federal and State law and regulations that go beyond the protections described in this general Notice of Privacy Practices. This information includes:

HIV-Related Information
Mental Health Information
Psychotherapy Notes
Genetic Information

If there is any conflict between the general Notice of Privacy Practices and this notice, the protections described in this notice will apply instead of the protections described in the general Notice of Privacy Practices.

HIV-RELATED INFORMATION

Confidential HIV-related information is any information indicating that you had an HIV-related test, have HIV-related illness or AIDS, or have an HIV-related infection, as well as any information which could reasonably identify you as a person who has had a test or has HIV infection.

Under New York State law, confidential HIV-related information can only be given to persons allowed to have it by law, or persons you have allowed to have it by signing a specific authorization form. You can ask to see a list of people who can be given confidential HIV-related information by law without a specific authorization form.

With your written consent, confidential HIV-related information about you may be used by personnel within the Practice who need the information to provide you with direct care or treatment, to process billing or reimbursement records, or to monitor or evaluate the quality of care provided at the Practice. Generally this Practice may not reveal to a person outside of the Practice any confidential HIV-related information that the Practice obtains in the course of treating you, unless:

  • We obtain your written permission on a specific authorization form;
  • The disclosure is to a person who is authorized under applicable law to make health care decisions on your behalf and the information disclosed is relevant to those health care decisions;
  • The disclosure is for treatment or payment purposes, so long as the Practice has obtained your general consent to such disclosures;
  • The disclosure is to an external agent of the Practice who needs the information to provide you with direct care or treatment, to process billing or reimbursement records, or to monitor or evaluate the quality of care provided at the Practice. In such cases, we will ordinarily obtain your general consent and have an agreement with the agent to ensure that your confidential HIV-related information is protected as required under Federal and State confidentiality laws and regulations;
  • The disclosure is required by law or court order;
  • The disclosure is to an organization that procures body parts for transplantation;
  • You receive services under a program monitored or supervised by a federal, state or local government agency and the disclosure is made to such government agency or other employee or agent of the agency when reasonably necessary for the supervision, monitoring, administration of provision of the program’s services;
  • the Practice is required under Federal or State law to make the disclosure to a health officer;
  • The disclosure is required for public health purposes;
  • If you are an inmate at a correctional facility and disclosure of confidential HIV-related information to the medical director of such facility is necessary for the director to carry out his or her functions;
  • For decedents, the disclosure is made to a funeral director who has taken charge of the decedent’s remains and who has access in the ordinary course of business to confidential HIV-related information on the decedent’s death certificate;
  • The disclosure is made to report child abuse or neglect to appropriate State or local authorities.

Violation of these privacy regulations may subject the Practice to civil or criminal penalties. Suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with Federal and State law.

MENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION

With your written consent, mental health information about you may be used by personnel within the Practice (or its business associates) in connection with their duties to provide you with treatment, obtain payment for that treatment, or conduct the Practice’s normal business operations. Generally the Practice may not reveal mental health information about you to other persons outside of the Practice, except in the following situations:

When the Practice has obtained your written permission on a specific authorization form;

  • To a personal representative who is authorized to make health care decisions on your behalf;
  • To government agencies or private insurance companies in order to obtain payment for services we provided to you;
  • To comply with a court order;
  • To appropriate persons who are able to avert a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of you or another person;
  • To appropriate government authorities to locate a missing person or conduct a criminal investigation as permitted under Federal and State confidentiality laws and regulations;
  • To other licensed Practice emergency services as permitted under Federal and State confidentiality laws;
  • To the mental hygiene legal service offered by the State;
  • To attorneys representing patients in an involuntary hospitalization proceeding;
  • To authorized government officials for the purpose of monitoring or evaluating the quality of care provided by the Practice or its staff;
  • To qualified researchers without your specific authorization when such research poses minimal risk to your privacy;
  • To coroners and medical examiners to determine cause of death; and
  • If you are an inmate, to a correctional facility which certifies that the information is necessary in order to provide you with health care, or in order to protect the health or safety of you or any other persons at the correctional institution.
PSYCHOTHERAPY NOTES

Psychotherapy notes are notes by a mental health professional that document or analyze the contents of a conversation during a private counseling session – or during a group, joint, or family counseling session. If these notes are maintained separate from the rest of your medical records, they can only be used and disclosed as follows.

In general, psychotherapy notes may not be used or disclosed without your special written authorization, except in the following circumstances.

With your general written consent, psychotherapy notes about you may be used and disclosed in the following situations:

  • The mental health professional who created the notes may use them to provide you with further treatment;
  • The mental health professional who created the notes may disclose them to students, trainees, or practitioners in mental health who are learning under supervision to practice or improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling;
  • The mental health professional who created the notes may disclose them as necessary to defend his or herself, or the Practice, in a legal proceeding initiated by you or your personal representative;

Psychotherapy notes may be used and disclosed without your consent or other authorization in the following situations to comply with the law or meet an important public need:

  • The mental health professional who created the notes may disclose them as required by law;
  • The mental health professional who created the notes may disclose the notes to appropriate government authorities when necessary to avert a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of you or another person;
  • The mental health professional who created the notes may disclose them to the United States Department of Health and Human Services when that agency requests them in order to investigate the mental health professional’s compliance, or the Practice’s compliance, with Federal privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations; and
  • The mental health professional who created the notes may disclose them to medical examiners and coroners if necessary to determine your cause of death.

All other uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes require your special written authorization.

GENETIC INFORMATION

A genetic test means a laboratory test of human DNA, chromosomes, genes or gene products to diagnose the presence of a genetic variation linked to a predisposition to a genetic disease or disability in the individual or the individual’s offspring. A genetic test does not include any test of blood or other medically prescribed test in routine use that has been or may be found to be associated with a genetic variation unless it is conducted purposely to identify such genetic information.

All records, findings and results of any genetic test performed on any person shall be confidential and generally shall not be disclosed without the written informed consent of the person to whom such genetic test relates.

With your consent, the results of your genetic test may be disclosed to a health insurer or health maintenance organization if the information disclosed is reasonably required for purposes of claims administration. However, any further distribution of the information within the insurer or to other recipients will require your written consent in each case.

Information derived from your genetic test may not be incorporated into the records of a non-consenting individual who may be genetically related to you, and no inferences may be drawn, used or communicated regarding the possible genetic status of the non-consenting individual.

The results of your genetic test may be disclosed to specified individuals without your consent if such disclosure is required by a court order or otherwise required or authorized by State law.

Your genetic information shall not be released to any person or organization not specifically authorized by you without additional written consent. the Practice is aware that an individual who might ordinarily be authorized to act as your personal representative, such as your spouse or a parent, may not be considered a personal representative for purposes of accessing your genetic information. For example, if you have authority to provide written consent on your own, your genetic information should not be released to your parent or guardian unless you have specifically authorized such a disclosure. If your parent or guardian is authorized under law to sign the written consent form on your behalf, the results of the test may be provided to him or her.