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Privacy Practice Notice

This notice describes how psychological and medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully and keep a copy for future reference.

CAPS is required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information (PHI) and to provide individuals with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI. PHI refers to protected health information in your confidential CAPS counseling file that could identify you.

Uses and Disclosures Allowed with Your Consent

Once you have given your consent for services at CAPS, CAPS may use or disclose your PHI for treatment and health care operations.

Treatment is when CAPS provides, coordinates or manages your health care and other services related to your health care. An example of treatment would be when CAPS consults with another health care provider, such as your physician or another psychologist.

Health Care Operations are activities that relate to the performance and operation of CAPS. Examples include quality assessment and improvement activities, accreditation site visits, supervision, case management and care coordination.

Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization

CAPS may use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment and health care operations after your written permission is obtained for that specific disclosure (this is referred to as an "authorization"). You may revoke any such authorization in writing at any time, unless CAPS has already acted in reliance upon it.

On the CAPS Intake Questionnaire, you can indicate whether you give your permission for CAPS staff to contact you by email and/or telephone, if needed (e.g., to reschedule an apppointment).

Uses and Disclosures with Neither Consent nor Authorization

CAPS may use or disclose PHI without your consent or authorization in the following situations:

  • Serious Threat to Health or Safety: If CAPS staff believe there is a substantial risk that you will, in the near future, (a) cause serious physical harm to yourself or others, or (b) suffer serious harm due to lack of capacity to protect yourself from harm or to provide for your basic needs, CAPS must take steps to protect you and/or the intended victim. These steps may include: (1) seeking hospitalization for you; (2) informing your parents; (3) notifying UR Police or other law enforcement officers; (4) notifying the Vice President of Student Development and the appropriate Dean¿s office; (5) notifying the UR Threat Assessment Team; and/or (6) notifying the intended victims (if applicable).
  • Judicial or Administrative Proceedings: If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information about your diagnosis, treatment and/or records, such information is privileged under state law, and CAPS will not release information without the written authorization of you or your legal representative, or a subpoena. If CAPS receives a subpoena for your records, and you move to quash (block) the subpoena, CAPS is required to place said records in a sealed envelope and provide them to the clerk of court of the appropriate jurisdiction so that the court can determine whether the records should be released. If you file a complaint against a CAPS staff member, relevant information may be disclosed to those receiving or responding to the complaint, including the Vice President of Student Development and university legal counsel.
  • Child Abuse: If CAPS has reason to suspect that a child is abused or neglected, CAPS is required by law to report the matter immediately to the Virginia Department of Social Services.
  • Adult and Domestic Abuse: If CAPS has reason to suspect that an adult is abused, neglected or exploited, CAPS is required by law to immediately make a report and provide relevant information to the Virginia Department of Welfare or Social Services.
  • Health Oversight: Certain Virginia Health Boards have the power, when necessary, to subpoena relevant records should a CAPS staff member be the focus of an inquiry. CAPS staff may also be required to report to the appropriate Virginia Board if CAPS receives information that another mental health professional is engaging in illegal or unethical practices.

You have certain rights with respect to PHI, including:

  • The right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your PHI. However, CAPS is not required to agree to requested restrictions.
  • The right to receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means and/or at alternative locations.
  • The right to inspect and/or obtain a copy of PHI in your CAPS file, as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. CAPS may deny your access to PHI under certain circumstances, but in some cases you may have this decision reviewed. On your request, CAPS staff will discuss the details of the request and denial process with you.
  • The right to make requests in writing for amendment of your PHI for as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. CAPS may deny your request. On your request, CAPS staff will discuss the details of the request and denial process with you.
  • The right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI for which you have neither provided consent nor authorization (as described above). On your request, CAPS staff will discuss the details of the accounting process with you.
  • The right to obtain a paper copy of this notice upon request.

Questions and Complaints

If you have questions about this notice, disagree with a decision CAPS has made about access to your records, or have other concerns about your privacy rights, you may contact: Peter LeViness, Ph.D., director of CAPS, at (804) 289-8119.

If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated and wish to file a complaint with CAPS, you may send your written complaint to: Peter LeViness, Ph.D., CAPS, 201 Richmond Hall, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173; or via e-mail at plevines@richmond.edu.

If your are dissatisfied witht he way Dr. LeViness handled your complaint, you may write to Dr. Steve Bisese, VP for Student Development, 338 Tyler Haynes Commons; or via email to sbisese@richmond.edu.

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

CAPS staff will not retaliate against you for exercising your right to file a complaint.

Effective Date and Changes to Privacy Policy

CAPS is required to abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect. CAPS reserves the right to change the terms of this notice and to make the new notice provisions effective for all PHI that it maintains. The CAPS office and CAPS Web site will have the most current policy.

Notice effective April 14, 2003