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Privacy & Policy

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.

 Regarding this website:

Welcome to Bill Murphy's (www.billmurphycounseling.com) website ( the "Site" ).  Your use of this Site is subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions set forth below.  By using the Site you accept and are bound by these terms and conditions.  If you do not agree with the terms and conditions, please do not use this Site. The terms and conditions governing this Site may change from time to time and without notice, effective immediately  upon posting on the Site.  When you continue to use the Site you accept any and all of these changes.  This Site is not intended for children under the age of 13 without the supervision of their parent or guardian.   
If you should elect to use email to communicate with Bill Murphy, LMFT, you realize that this is not a secured site and thus email is not confidential.  Communication via the Internet my potentially be lost or intercepted by unauthorized parties during such transmission.  You agree that Bill Murphy, LMFT shall have no liability whatsoever in connection with such lost or intercepted data.  
You are solely responsible for obtaining and maintaining all telephone, hardware, software and other equipment necessary to access and use the Site including all related expenses.  Furthermore, you agree not to use the Site in any manner so as to adversely affect the Site's resources or the availability of the Site to others; you agree not to violate any local, state, national or international law; you agree not to delete or revise any content on the Site.    
Bill Murphy, LMFT has no control over other Websites or other resources accessed through the links on this Site.  By using the Site, you agree that Bill Murphy, LMFT shall have no responsibility for any content, advertising, products or other material accessed through such links, and shall not be liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss incurred by you or any third party in connection with Websites or resources accessed through link on the Site.  Any opinions or recommendations expressed in these sites are solely those of the third party information providers and are not the opinions or recommendations of Bill Murphy, LMFT.  No endorsement of third party products, services or information is expressed or implied by any information, material or content referred t or included on, or linked from or to the Site.
www.billmurphycounseling.com links to other websites on the internet.  Content and Privacy Policies are the responsibility of their respective owners.  Bill Murphy, LMFT will attempt to monitor those links and remove them as necessary if they expire or the content becomes inappropriate in our opinion, but we have no control over their content nor privacy policies.  If one of the sites we link to has questionable content and/or policies, please inform us and we will investigate and remove our link to their site if necessary.
You may contact Bill Murphy, MFT by calling 661-330-7498 or fax: 661-395-9165 or by writing to Bill Murphy, LMFT, 3434 Truxtun Avenue, Suite 210, Bakersfield, CA 93301. 
 
I would like to encourage each of my viewers to utilize Bakersfield's own Russo's Books located in three convenient locations. 



 
HIPAA
(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act):


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

This Notice of Privacy Practices is being provided to you as a requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This Notice describes how Bill Murphy, LMFT will use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control of your protected health information. Your protected health information means any of the written and oral health information, including demographic data that can be used to identify you. This is health information that is created or received by your health care provider, and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition.

We respect your personal privacy. We will not release your name, address, or contact information without your consent. In affirmation of this Policy, we want to inform you that all photographs used on our Web site are not patients.  Please be aware that e-mail is not secure. WE URGE YOU NOT TO PROVIDE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR HEALTH TO US VIA E-MAIL. If you do so, it is at your own risk.

This Notice of Privacy Practices is being provided to you as a requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This Notice describes how Bill Murphy, LMFT may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control of your protected health information. Your protected health information means any of the written and oral health information, including demographic data that can be used to identify you. This is health information that is created or received by your health care provider, and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition.

1. PURPOSE: Bill Murphy, LMFT follows the privacy practices described in this Notice. Bill Murphy, LMFT keeps your mental and physical health information in records that will be maintained and protected in a confidential manner, as required by law. The individuals identified above will share your health information with each other for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations that will be described in this Notice.

2. PROTECTION OF HEALTH CARE INFORMATION AS A PROVIDER OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: The law requires us to protect the privacy of your health information. We will not use or let other people see your health information without your permission except in the ways we tell you in this notice. This protection applies to all heath information we have about you, no matter when you received services. I will not tell anyone you are receiving, or have ever received services from Bill Murphy, LMFT, unless the law allows us to disclose that information.

I will ask for your written authorization to use or disclose your health information except for those times when we are allowed to use or disclose this information without your permission, as explained in this notice. If you give us permission to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke it at any time. If you revoke your permission, I will not be liable for using or disclosing your health information before you revoked your permission.

If you are being treated for alcohol or drug abuse, your records are protected by federal law. Violation of these laws that protect alcohol or drug abuse treatment records is a crime and suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations.
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY. This Notice of Privacy Practices is being provided to you as a requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This Notice describes how Bill Murphy, MFT may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control of your protected health information. Your protected health information means any of the written and oral health information, including demographic data that can be used to identify you. This is health information that is created or received by your health care provider, and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition.
1. Bill Murphy, LMFT follows the privacy practices described in this Notice. Bill Murphy, LMFT  keeps your mental and physical health information in records that will be maintained and protected in a confidential manner, as required by law. The individual identified above will share your health information with each other for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations that will be described in this Notice.
2. The law requires us to protect the privacy of your health information. We will not use or let other people see your health information without your permission except in the ways we tell you in this notice. This protection applies to all heath information we have about you, no matter when you received services. I will not tell anyone you are receiving, or have ever received services from Bill Murphy, LMFT, unless the law allows us to disclose that information. I will ask for your written authorization to use or disclose your health information except for those times when we are allowed to use or disclose this information without your permission, as explained in this notice. If you give me permission to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke it at any time. If you revoke your permission, I will not be liable for using or disclosing your health information before you revoked your permission. If you are being treated for alcohol or drug abuse, your records are protected by federal law. Violation of these laws that protect alcohol or drug abuse treatment records is a crime and suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations.
 
3. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

Bill Murphy, LMFT may use your protected health information for purposes of providing treatment, obtaining payment for treatment, and conducting health care operations.

A. Treatment. We may use and disclose your protected health information to a physician and/or other healthcare providers for providing treatment to you. This includes coordination of your care with other health care providers, health plans, referral sources and for continuum of care.

B. Payment. Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for the services that we provide. This may include certain communications to your health insurer to get approval for the treatment that we recommend. For example, if a hospital admission is recommended, we may need to disclose information to your health insurer to get prior approval for the hospitalization. We may also disclose protected health information to your insurance company to determine whether you are eligible for benefits or whether a particular service is covered under your health plan. In order to get payment for your services, we may also need to disclose your protected health information to your insurance company to demonstrate the medical necessity of the services or, as required by your insurance company, for utilization review. We may also disclose patient information to another provider involved in your care for the other provider's payment activities.

C. Operations. I may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, for our own health care operations in order to facilitate the function of Bill Murphy, LMFT and to provide quality care to all patients. Health care operations include such activities as:
  • Quality assessment and performance improvement activities.
  • Employee review functions.
  • Accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
  • Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and maintaining compliance programs.
  • Business management and general administrative activities.
In certain situations, we may also disclose patient information to another provider or health plan for their health care operations
 
4. USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT ARE PERMITTED AND/OR MANDATORY

A. As Required by Law. I will disclose your protected health information when we are required to do so by any Federal, State or local law. An example would be a request by the Department of Health and Human Services to disclose your information to evaluate our compliance with the privacy regulations.

B. Public Health Activities.     I may disclose your protected health information to public health agencies for the purpose of preventing, controlling disease, injury or disability; to report vital events such as births or deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, reactions to medications; or to facilitate product recalls.

C. Health Oversight Activities. I may disclose your protected health information to a health oversight agency that is authorized by law to conduct health oversight activities including audits; investigations; inspections; licensure and certification surveys. I will not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.

D. Judicial And Administrative Proceedings. I may disclose your protected health information to courts or administrative agencies who have the authority to hear and resolve lawsuits or disputes. I may disclose your information pursuant to a court order, a subpoena, a discovery request, or other lawful process issued by a judge or other person involved in the dispute. This will only occur after efforts have been made to notify you of the request for disclosure and or to obtain an order protecting your health information.

E. Law Enforcement Purposes. I may disclose your protected health information to law enforcement officials in response to a request, as required, to report criminal activity or to respond to a subpoena, court order, warrant, summons or similar process.

F. To Coroners, Funeral Directors, and for Organ Donation. I may disclose your protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, to determine cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. I may also disclose protected health information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties. Protected health information may be used and disclosed for organ, eye or tissue donation purpose.
 
G. If There is A Serious Threat To Health Or Safety. I may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, use or disclose your protected health information if I believe that such use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or minimize a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.

H. For Specified Government Functions. In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize the provider to use or disclose your protected health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans activities, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations, correctional institutions, and law enforcement custodial situations.

I. For Worker's Compensation. The provider may release your health information to comply with worker's compensation laws or similar programs.

5. USES AND DISCLOSURES TO FAMILY AND/OR PERSONAL FRIENDS
I may disclose your protected health information to your family member or a close personal friend if they are involved in your care or who help pay for your care. I may make such disclosures when we have your signed authorization to do so.

6. YOUR RIGHTS
You have the following rights regarding your health information:

A. The right to inspect and copy your protected health information. You may inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information. A designated record set contains medical and billing records and any other records that your physician and Bill Murphy, LMFT uses for making decisions about you.

Under Federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; and protected health information that is subject to a law that prohibits access to protected health information.

I may deny your request to inspect or copy your protected health information if, in my professional judgment, it is determined that the access requested is likely to endanger your life or safety or that of another person, or that it is likely to cause substantial harm to another person referenced within the information. You have the right to request a review of this decision.

To inspect and copy your medical information, you must submit a written request to the Office Manager.  If you request a copy of your information, you may be charged a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other costs incurred by us in complying with your request.

Please contact our Privacy Official if you have additional questions about access to your medical record.
 
B. The right to request a restriction on uses and disclosures of your protected health information. You may ask us not to use or disclose certain parts of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply.

Bill Murphy, LMFT is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. I will notify you if I deny your request to a restriction. If Bill Murphy, LMFT does agree to the requested restriction, I may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. Under certain circumstances, we may terminate our agreement to a restriction. You may request a restriction by contacting the Privacy Official.

C. The right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. You have the right to request that we communicate with you in certain ways. I will accommodate reasonable requests. I may condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. I will not require you to provide an explanation for your request. Requests must be made in writing to our Privacy Official.

D. The right to have your provider amend your protected health information. You may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If I deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Requests for amendment must be in writing and must be directed to our Privacy Official. In this written request, you must also provide a reason to support the requested amendments.

E. The right to receive an accounting. You have the right to request an accounting of certain disclosures of your protected health information made by the provider. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. I am also not required to account for disclosures that you requested, disclosures that you agreed to by signing an authorization form, or certain other disclosures we are permitted to make without your authorization. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to our Office Manager. The request should specify the time period sought for the accounting. I am not required to provide an accounting for disclosures that take place prior to April 14, 2003. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six years. I will provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.

F. The right to obtain a paper copy of this notice. Upon request, we will provide a separate paper copy of this notice even if you have already received a copy of the notice or have agreed to accept this notice electronically.
 
7. OUR DUTIES
Bill Murphy, LMFT is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with this Notice of our duties and privacy practices. He is required to abide by terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. I reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain. If Bill Murphy, MFT changes its Notice, we will provide a copy of the revised Notice upon request from you.

8. COMPLAINTS
You have the right to express complaints to Bill Murphy, LMFT and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated. You may complain to Privacy Official verbally or in writing, using the contact information below. I encourage you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.

Contact:

John W. Murphy, MFT
3434 Truxtun Avenue
Suite 210
Bakersfield, CA 93301
ATTN: Privacy Official
The Privacy Official can be contacted by telephone at
661-330-7498
 U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S. W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll-Free: (800) 368-1019

You must file your complaint within 180 days of when you knew or should have known about the event that you think violated your privacy rights.

This Notice is effective 5-19-2011.