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Dr. Rao is required by law to maintain the privacy of all your personal health information, which is strictly confidential information.  There are some situations where a psychiatrist is permitted or required to disclose information without either your consent or authorization.  If you present an imminent danger to your own health or safety or health and safety of someone else, Rao psychiatry may be obliged to seek hospitalization, or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection.  There are some situations in which Dr. Rao as your psychiatrist is legally obligated to take actions, which she believes is necessary to attempt to protect others from harm and Dr. Rao may have to reveal some information about a patient’s treatment. These situations are unusual.

This by no means is an all comprehensive summary of exceptions to confidentiality as you may need to consult for legal advise if you have further questions or need further clarification.

Policies and Procedures

Dr. Rao and Rao Psychiatry prioritize patient safety and adhere to ethical and legal obligations. It's important to be aware of exceptions to patient confidentiality:


1. **Prescription Monitoring**: Dr. Rao has the right to access the Texas Prescription Access System to check for any drug-drug interactions that could place a patient at imminent risk of overdose or death. If such interactions are identified, Rao Psychiatry reserves the right to contact the prescribing physicians or pharmacists in the system. Dr. Rao will make efforts to discuss this with the patient should the need arise. Privacy related to illegal activities like "doctor shopping" is not protected under HIPAA.


2. **Child and or Elder Abuse or Neglect**: If there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child under 18 is being abused or neglected, or if a disabled adult is believed to be in need of protective services, the law mandates that Dr. Rao file a report with the appropriate protective services. Once such a report is filed, Dr. Rao may be required to provide additional information as needed.


3. **Imminent Danger to Others**: If Dr. Rao believes that a patient poses an imminent danger to the health and safety of another individual, she may be required to disclose information in order to take protective actions. These actions may include initiating hospitalization, warning any potential identifiable victim, and, if necessary, contacting the police.


In situations where any of these exceptions to confidentiality apply, Dr. Rao will make every effort to thoroughly discuss the situation with the patient before taking any action. Any disclosures will be limited to what is deemed necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved parties.


While this summary provides important information about exceptions to confidentiality, it is crucial for patients to openly discuss any questions or concerns they may have with Dr. Rao. The laws governing confidentiality can be complex, and Dr. Rao, as a healthcare professional, is not qualified to provide legal advice. In cases requiring specific legal guidance, formal legal advice from an attorney may be necessary.

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