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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 has the right to look up any of her patients on the Texas Prescription Access system. If there are drug-drug interactions that put the patient in imminent danger of overdose or death, Rao Psychiatry reserves the right to contact the prescribing physicians or pharmacists in the system. Dr. Rao will do her best to discuss this with you should the need arise. Privacy of active felonious activity (doctor shopping) is not protected under HIPAA.

If there is a cause to suspect that a child under 18 is abused or neglected, or if there is reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult is in need of protective services, the law requires that psychiatrist file a report with the protective services. Once such a report is filed, the psychiatrist may be required to provide additional information.

If the psychiatrist believes that a patient presents an imminent danger to the health and safety of another, the psychiatrist/psychologist may be required to disclose information in order to take protective actions, including initiating hospitalization, warning the potential victim, if identifiable, and/or calling the police.

If such a situation arises, the psychiatrist will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action and limit the disclosure to what is necessary.

While this written summary of exceptions to confidentiality should prove helpful in informing you about potential problems, it is important that the psychiatrist discuss any questions or concerns that you may have now or in the future. The laws governing confidentiality can be quite complex, and the psychiatrist is not an attorney. In situations where specific advice is required, formal legal advice may be needed.

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