One who knows others is wise. One who knows self is enlightened.

Tao Te Ching

 

Michael Schneider, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Licensed to Practice in Illinois and Missouri

 

                                

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CONFIDENTIALITY & PRIVACY POLICY

 Policy:

It is the policy of Michael Schneider, Ph.D., as a licensed clinical psychologist, to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the clients who receive services from him.

 Michael Schneider, Ph.D. observes and abides by all state and federal laws regarding the privacy and confidentiality of records. In accordance with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Michael Schneider, Ph.D. endorses the following procedure to protect the confidential information of clients.

 Procedure:

1. Definitions:

Client: A client for the purposes of this policy is anyone who has is receiving services from Dr. Schneider.

Privacy: Privacy is the client's legal right to have information about them protected from review by other individuals without their permission.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality is the process in which Michael Schneider, Ph.D. protects the privacy of clients receiving his services.

Staff: Any office personnel who work for Michael Schneider, Ph.D..

Disclosure: Disclosure is the act of releasing information from one individual to another. Within this policy it refers to the releasing of private client information to another party.

Amendment: An amendment is a request for a change to be made in information kept on fi1e.  (Back to Top)

 2. Michael Schneider, Ph.D. maintains full responsibility for all aspects of client privacy as the Privacy Representative for his clinical practice.  Any concerns regarding confidentiality or requests of information amendments should be made to him, or may be made to the state licensing board maintained by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.  Requests for releasing of information will be processed by Michael Schneider, Ph.D.

3. All staff and all clients receiving services from Michael Schneider, Ph.D. will review the Confidentiality and Privacy Policy.

a.      There will be a confidentiality agreement signed by staff kept on file. This agreement will indicate the commitment of staff to abide by the policy as well as state and federal laws on confidentiality. Clients may request to review these agreements.

b.      New clients will receive a copy of the policy, which will also be reviewed with them by Michael Schneider, Ph.D.  Their signature will be kept on file indicating that they have received and reviewed the policy.  (Back to Top)

4. Authorization for Release of Information will be:

a.      Written in specific language to indicate exactly what type of information is to be disclosed and to what person or entity the disclosure will be made.

 b.  There will be an expiration date on all Authorizations for Release of Information, which will not exceed 12 months from the date of the signature on the release.

 c.   Protected information requiring the Authorization for Release of Information shall include but not be limited to photographs, name and identifying information, social security number, diagnosis, session dates and contact dates, progress notes and assessments. Any information regarding a client who is receiving services or who has received services in the past from Michael Schneider, Ph.D. will be considered private information to be protected.

d.      An Authorized Signature will be the person who has legal rights to sign for the client according to the law. For an adult it will be the person who has the legal authority to act as guardian for the individual whose information is to be disclosed.  For children it will be the legal parent or guardian who provides the authority to release information. Children over the age of 12 will also sign, as required by mental health code, before information about that child is released.

e.      The least information required will be released in the effort to comply with requests to release information.  Assessment and intake reports will be released only if specifically asked for and approved by the authorized signature on the Authorization to Release of Information.

f.        For releases received by outside entities Michael Schneider, Ph.D. will contact the client for the purpose of obtaining an official release and to discuss any concerns regarding the type of information to be disclosed. The therapist reserves the right to raise concerns with their client regarding whether or not requested information should be disclosed.  Illinois state law permits the therapist to withhold information if the therapist believes such release would be detrimental to the well-being of the client.  (Back to Top)

 5.  Disclosure Contact information will be kept in the file each time information was disclosed to a third party.  The list of Disclosure Contacts may be reviewed by clients upon request.

 6.  Clients have the right to review their counseling record and request that changes be made to that record.  Clients have the right to receive a copy of their record by making their request in writing.  A nominal copying and service fee may be charged to cover the cost of copying the record.

 7.  Client Information Amendment Requests may be made by clients when they object to information in their file or would like to have information within their file modified.  Clients shall make this request in writing.  Clients may submit this request to Michael Schneider, Ph.D..

 8. Confidential communications with clients will be conducted as the client prefers. Client demographic information such as address and phone numbers will be gathered for the client file. However, the client will be asked upon admission to outpatient services where they would like confidential communications in writing and by phone to be made. Michael Schneider, Ph.D. will ask for any restrictions in the type of information to be left in messages or communicated in any form upon intake. Once the client has received the policy and acknowledged they have received the policy in writing it is the client's responsibility to inform Michael Schneider, Ph.D. of any changes they request in how confidential communication is handled after the first session. If a change is requested, Michael Schneider, Ph.D. will immediately make the change in the file indicating the person who made the request and the date of the requested change.  (Back to Top)

 9.  Michael Schneider, Ph.D. will safeguard client records within the computer by:

a.  Assuring that if the computer is not in use and is unattended, the computer will be shut down and the staff person logged out.  Once logged out a password will be needed to access the computer

b.  All client records stored on removable electronic storage media will be locked in a secure area when not in use.

 

10. Michael Schneider, Ph.D. will safeguard client records on paper by assuring that unattended files are locked in secure cabinets at all times.

 11.  Client files may be destroyed in a manner that protects confidentiality either by shredding or burning of files.  Client files are maintained as required by the Illinois Mental Health code and HIPAA.  (Back to Top)

 LIMITS TO CONFIDENTIALITY AND MANDATED REPORTING

 While most information shared with a mental health professional is private and confidential, licensed psychologists are required to disclose information to other parties under certain circumstances:

  1. All licensed psychologists are required by law to report any suspected instances of child abuse or neglect to the Child Abuse Hot Line.  Making a report does not necessarily mean that the psychologist believes abuse or neglect occurred, only that a reasonable person might suspect it did.
  2. Similarly, the law requires that mental health professionals contact authorities in the event that elder abuse is discovered.  This means that an adult age 60 or over who cannot make a call themselves is suspected of being abused or neglected.
  3. If a psychologist believes you are at risk of attempting suicide, the courts have mandated that the psychologist notify any parties necessary to ensure your safety, for example, police, emergency services, family members.
  4. If a psychologist believes you are at risk of harming or killing someone else, the courts have held that the psychologist must warn the intended victim and/or others who can prevent the assault from occurring.
  5. Psychologists are permitted by law to provide limited information to collection agencies in the even that you would refuse to pay a lawful bill for services.
  6. If a psychologist is ordered by a court to testify about you against your wishes, the psychologist will make efforts to avoid testifying, e.g., asserting your right to confidential communications, but may not always be able to do so.
  7. If you are referred for services by the court or by your employer they may require that certain information be released back to them.  Clarify what is required before sharing personal information with a psychologist.
  8. A psychologist may legally and ethically seek professional consultation with another professional about your case.  In such a situation, the consultant will be legally required to treat that information as confidential. (Back to Top)

 

 

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