There are few things in private practice that are as terrifying as legal forms. We, at Healthie, have seen dietitians fear the worst, typing up disclaimers right and left – no one wants to fall through a legal loophole. The jargon is difficult, but we’re here to tell you what you’ll need for your private practice.
The bare essentials are the HIPAA Notice of Privacy and the Information Release Authorization. The HIPAA Notice of Privacy will explain your rights as a practitioner to your client’s protected health information. It will also explain where you may use or disclose your client’s health information – situations may include instances where you as the dietitian are required by law to release this information or to avert a serious threat to health or safety. The HIPAA Notice will include your client’s rights to their own information. This form is something most dietitians have their clients sign prior to their first appointment.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a little information about putting this notice of privacy together. Healthie also provides this form along with the Information Release Authorization form free for members of our Healthie Community for no extra charge so it’s one less thing you and your growing practice have to worry about!
The Information Release Authorization form is much simpler than the HIPAA Notice of Privacy. There is a lot less information and cuts right to the chase. This form has your clients sign off permission for you to contact their physician for health record information. A lot less needs to go into it. It may only be a few sentences.
The next big thing we recommend is having a cancelation policy. This is something so many dietitians try not to have out of fear of becoming “the bad guy.” With that said, cancelation policies will help your business. It will hold your clients accountable for their appointments, giving them incentive to come to the time they’ve booked.
Beyond these three recommendations, what waivers and disclaimers you’ll need only you can know for sure. As a nutrition professional, you will have to evaluate the potential for risk with each new situation. If you’re still struggling, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com, or write us a message in our comment section below! 🙂