Frequently asked questions

Does therapy help?


It is not uncommon to encounter times when life's stressors outpace our coping resources. At any given time, more than 1 in 4 adults is struggling with a mental health issue. Research shows that psychotherapy helps people grow and change.

For more information on Understanding Psychotherapy, the American Psychological Association has a great article on the topic click here.




Are you accepting new Clients?


I have a couple of available appointment slots--the best way to determine if our schedules will mesh is to email me and we can discuss scheduling options.




How do I schedule an appointment?


Email to set up an appointment or call for a free 15 min consulation.




How much does therapy cost?


60-minute intake sessions are $200, subsequent sessions are $185 for 50-minute sessions (individual or couple). There are times when it could be helpful to meet for more or less than 50 minutes--if this is the case, we will discuss the details in advance.




Do you take insurance?


I do not process insurance. It's always recommended that you call your insurance company and explore your out-of-network benefits. As an out-of-network provider I can give you an itemized receipt with the needed medical codes that you can submit to your insurance company if applicable.

I can process HSA and FSA credit cards and provide an itemized receipt with the needed medical codes.




What is your cancellation policy?


One "whoops" (missed appointment) is excused, after that the full amount of the session will be charged.




What are some resources in crisis?


www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Or call: 1-800-273-8255 Free service 24/7 www.crisistextline.org Or text: HOME to 741741 Free service 24/7




What are your practice privacy policies?


NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

Dr. Mary Beth Covert, PLLC (“I”, “me”, or the “Practice”)

5607 Pittsford Palmyra Rd, Suite 904

Pittsford, NY 14534

615-988-4462

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

MY PLEDGE REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION:

I am committed to maintaining the privacy of your protected health information (“PHI”), which includes electronic PHI, and which includes information about your medical condition and the care and services you receive from me and other health care providers, all in accordance with the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and their regulations (collectively, the “HIPAA Rules”). This Notice details how your PHI may be used and disclosed to third parties for purposes of your care, payment for your care, health care operations of my practice, and for other purposes permitted or required by law and the HIPAA Rules. This Notice also details your rights regarding your PHI.

I can change the terms of this notice, and such changes will apply to all information I have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in my office, and on my website.

HOW I MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU:

The following categories describe different ways that I use and disclose health information. For each category of uses or disclosures I will explain what I mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways I am permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories:

  1. Treatment – Privacy rules (regulations) allow health care providers who have direct treatment relationship with the patient/client to use or disclose the patient/client's personal health information without the patient's written authorization, to carry out the health care provider's own treatment, payment or health care operations. I may also disclose your protected health information for the treatment activities of other health care provider. For example, if a clinician were to consult with another licensed health care provider about your condition, we would be permitted to use and disclose your person health information, which is otherwise confidential, in order to assist the clinician in diagnosis and treatment of your mental health condition.

Disclosures for treatment purposes are not limited to the minimum necessary standard. Because therapists and other health care providers need access to the full record and/or full and complete information in order to provide quality care. The word "treatment" includes, among other things, the coordination and management of health care providers with a third party, consultations between health care providers and referrals of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another.

  1. Payment – In order to get paid for some or all of the health care provided by me, I may provide your PHI, directly or through a billing service, to appropriate third-party payors.
  2. Health Care Operations – In order for me to operate the practice in accordance with applicable law and in order for me to provide quality and efficient care, it may be necessary for me to compile, use and/or disclose your PHI. For example, I may use your PHI in order to evaluate the performance of the Practice’s personnel, if applicable.

AUTHORIZATION NOT REQUIRED

I may use and/or disclose your PHI, without a written Authorization from you, in the following instances:

(a) De-identified Information - Your PHI is altered so that it does not identify you and, even without your name, cannot be used to identify you.

(b) Business Associate - To a business associate, which is someone who I contract with to provide a service necessary for your treatment, payment for your treatment and health care operations (e.g., billing service or transcription service). I will obtain satisfactory written assurance, in accordance with applicable law and the HIPAA Rules, that the business associate will appropriately safeguard your PHI and that the business associate will ensure its subcontractors, if any, appropriately safeguard your PHI as well.

(c) To You or a Personal Representative - To you, or to a person who, under applicable law, has the authority to represent you in making decisions related to your health care.

(d) Public Health Activities - Such activities include, for example, information collected by a public health authority, as authorized by law, to prevent or control disease, injury or disability. This includes reports of child abuse or neglect.

(e) Food and Drug Administration - If required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems or biological product deviations, or to track products, or to enable product recalls, repairs or replacements, or to conduct post marketing surveillance.

(f) Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence - To a government authority if I am required by law to make such disclosure. If I am authorized by law to make such a disclosure, it will do so if I believe that the disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm or if I believes that you have been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Any such disclosure will be made in accordance with the requirements of law, which may also involve notice to you of the disclosure.

(g) Health Oversight Activities - Such activities, which must be required by law, involve government agencies involved in oversight activities that relate to the health care system, government benefit programs, government regulatory programs and civil rights law. Those activities include, for example, criminal investigations, audits, disciplinary actions, or general oversight activities relating to the community's health care system.

(h) Judicial and Administrative Proceeding - For example, I may be required to disclose your PHI in response to a court order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

(i) Law Enforcement Purposes - In certain instances, your PHI may have to be disclosed to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes. Law enforcement purposes include: (1) complying with a legal process (i.e., subpoena) or as required by law; (2) information for identification and location purposes (e.g., suspect or missing person); (3) information regarding a person who is or is suspected to be a crime victim; (4) in situations where the death of an individual may have resulted from criminal conduct; (5) in the event of a crime occurring on the premises of my office; and (6) a medical emergency (not on the office’s premises) has occurred, and it appears that a crime has occurred.

(j) Coroner or Medical Examiner – I may disclose your PHI to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of identifying you or determining your cause of death, or to a funeral director as permitted by law and as necessary to carry out its duties.

(k) Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation - If you are an organ donor, I may disclose your PHI to the entity to whom you have agreed to donate your organs.

(l) Research - If I am involved in research activities, your PHI may be used, but such use is subject to numerous governmental requirements intended to protect the privacy of your PHI such as approval of the research by an institutional review board and the requirement that protocols must be followed.

(m) Avert a Threat to Health or Safety – I may disclose your PHI if I believe that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public and the disclosure is to an individual who is reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat.

(n) Specialized Government Functions - When the appropriate conditions apply, I may use PHI of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel: (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veteran Affairs of eligibility for benefits; or (3) to a foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military service. I may also disclose your PHI to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities including the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.

(o) Inmates – I may disclose your PHI to a correctional institution or a law enforcement official if you are an inmate of that correctional facility and your PHI is necessary to provide care and treatment to you or is necessary for the health and safety of other individuals or inmates.

(p) Workers' Compensation - If you are involved in a Workers' Compensation claim, I may be required to disclose your PHI to an individual or entity that is part of the Workers' Compensation system.

(q) Disaster Relief Efforts – I may use or disclose your PHI to a public or private entity authorized to assist in disaster relief efforts.

(r) Required by Law - If otherwise required by law, but such use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and limited to the requirements of the law.

AUTHORIZATION

As detailed in the HIPAA Rules, certain uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes (as described in the “Marketing” section of this Privacy Notice), and disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI require a written authorization from you, and other uses and disclosures not otherwise permitted as described in this Privacy Notice will only be made with your written authorization, which you may revoke at any time as detailed in the “Your Rights” section of this Privacy Notice.

  • Sign-In Sheet

I may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk. I may also call your name in the waiting room when I am ready to see you.

  • Appointment Reminder

I may, from time to time, contact you to provide appointment reminders. The reminder may be in the form of a letter or postcard. I will try to minimize the amount of information contained in the reminder. The I may also contact you by phone and, if you are not available, I will leave a message for you.

TREATMENT ALTERNATIVE/BENEFITS

I may, from time to time, contact you about treatment alternatives, or other health benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

MARKETING

I may only use and/or disclose your PHI for marketing activities if we obtain from you a prior written Authorization. "Marketing" activities include communications to you that encourage you to purchase or use a product or service, and the communication is not made for your care or treatment. However, marketing does not include, for example, sending you a newsletter about my practice. Marketing also includes the receipt by me of financial remuneration, directly or indirectly, from a third party whose product or service is being marketed to you. I will inform you if it engages in marketing and will obtain your prior Authorization.

FAMILY/FRIENDS

I may disclose to your family member, other relative, a close personal friend, or any other person identified by you, your PHI directly relevant to such person's involvement with your care or the payment for your care. I may also use or disclose your PHI to notify or assist in the notification (including identifying or locating) of a family member, a personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, of your location, general condition or death. However, in both cases, the following conditions will apply:

  1. I may use or disclose your PHI if you agree, or if I provide you with opportunity to object and you do not object, or if I can reasonably infer from the circumstances, based on the exercise of its judgment, that you do not object to the use or disclosure.

  1. If you are not present, I will, in the exercise of its judgment, determine whether the use or disclosure is in your best interests and, if so, disclose only the PHI that is directly relevant to the person's involvement with your care.

GOVERNMENT REGULATION

I am subject to various rules and regulations of New York State, State of Florida and State of Tennessee and the federal government. As a result of those rules and regulations, periodically representatives from federal or state agencies will audit the operations of the practice and, in the process of that audit, will review medical records, some of which may contain your PHI. In addition you, as a recipient of Medicare or other benefits, may have agreed to allow representatives from the federal or state governments to review your medical records as a result of an audit being conducted of the practice. Access by a federal or state agency to your PHI for audit purposes does not require your prior authorization.

YOUR RIGHTS

YOUR HAVE THE FOLLOWING RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PHI

You have the right to:

a) Revoke any Authorization, in writing, at any time. To request a revocation, you must submit a written request.

b) Request restrictions on certain uses and/or disclosures of your PHI as provided by law. However, I am not obligated to agree to every requested restriction, except to the extent required by the HIPAA Rules or by law. To request restrictions, you must submit a written request. In your written request, you must specify what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit my use or disclosure, or both, and to whom you want the limits to apply. If I agree to your request, I will comply with your request unless the information is needed in order to provide you with emergency treatment.

  1. Request Restrictions for Out-of-Pocket Expenses Paid for In Full. You have the right to request restrictions on disclosures of your PHI to health plans for payment or health care operations purposes if the PHI pertains solely to a health care item or a health care service that you have paid for out-of-pocket in full.
  2. Choose How I Send PHI to You. You have the right to ask me to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address, and I will agree to all reasonable requests.
  3. See and Get Copies of Your PHI. Other than "psychotherapy notes," you have the right to get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other information that I have about you. To inspect and copy your PHI, you must submit a request (oral or written) to me. In certain situations that are defined by law, I may deny your request, but you will have the right to have the denial reviewed. You may be charged a fee for the cost of copying, mailing, or other supplies associated with your request, all in accordance with law.
  4. Get a List of the Disclosures I Have Made. You have the right to request a list of instances in which I have disclosed your PHI for purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations, or for which you provided me with an Authorization. I will respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within 60 days of receiving your request. The list I will give you will include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. I will provide the list to you at no charge, but if you make more than one request in the same year, I will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for each additional request.
  5. Correct or Update Your PHI. If you believe that there is a mistake in your PHI, or that a piece of important information is missing from your PHI, you have the right to request that I correct the existing information or add the missing information. I may say "no" to your request, but I will tell you why in writing within 60 days of receiving your request.

  1. Get a Paper or Electronic Copy of this Notice. You have the right get a paper copy of this Notice, and you have the right to get a copy of this notice by e-mail. And, even if you have agreed to receive this Notice via e-ma il, you also have the right to request a paper copy of it.

  1. Be notified following a breach of your Unsecured PHI (as such term is defined by the HIPAA Rules).

(j) Complain to me, or to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Centralized Case Management Operations, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 509F HHH Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20201. To file a complaint with me, you must contact my office. All complaints must be in writing.

PRACTICE’S REQUIREMENTS

The Practice:

  1. Is required by law to maintain the privacy of your PHI and to provide you with this Privacy Notice of the Practice’s legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI.

  1. Is required to abide by the terms of this Privacy Notice, which is currently in effect.

  1. Reserves the right to change the terms of this Privacy Notice and to make the new Privacy Notice provisions effective for all of your PHI that it maintains.

  1. Will not retaliate against you for making a complaint.

  1. Must make a good faith effort to obtain from you an acknowledgement of receipt of this Notice.

  1. Will post this Privacy Notice on the Practice’s web site, if the Practice maintains a web site.

  1. Will provide this Privacy Notice to you by e-mail if you so request. However, you also have the right to obtain a paper copy of this Privacy Notice.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE

This Notice is in effect as of March 18, 2021.





Dr. Mary Beth Covert Counseling