Legal Terms for PEARS, PLLC

Last Updated: 1/22/24

I. Terms and Conditions
II. Privacy Policy
IV. HIPAA Policy
V. Social Media Policy
VI. Accessibility Statement

Terms and Conditions

PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BEFORE ACCESSING OUR WEBSITE.

Agreement to Terms

These Terms of Use constitute a legally binding agreement made between you, whether personally or on behalf of an entity (“you”) and PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo, [“Dr. A,” “Dr. Arduengo,” “PEARS,” “P.E.A.R.S.” “Psychological, Educational, and Related Services”] or “we” or “us”) concerning your access to and use of this Website, as well as any other media form, media channel, mobile website or mobile application related, linked, or otherwise connected thereto (collectively, the “Site”). You agree that by accessing the Site, you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by all of these Terms of Use. We reserve the right to modify them at any time. You should check these terms periodically for changes. By using this Site after we post any changes to these terms, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them. If at any time you choose not to accept these terms of use, of if you do not agree with all of these terms of use, THEN YOU ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED FROM USING THE SITE AND YOU MUST DISCONTINUE USE IMMEDIATELY.

Purpose and Disclaimer

The information provided on this Site is for general informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for treatment or consultation with a mental health professional. Unless you have entered into a professional psychotherapy relationship with signed forms of consent and appropriate documents in place, PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo is not your therapist, counselor, or coach. Nothing on this Site shall be interpreted as entering you into a therapeutic relationship with PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo.

No Endorsement

All information on this Site is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation and or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on this Site, and such information is subject to change without notice. Additionally, when you are on our website you may have the opportunity to visit, or “click-through,” to other websites, blogs, or other electronic media not operated by us. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this Site with other sources, and review all information regarding any condition or treatment with your psychotherapist and/or physician. We do not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any specific tests, products, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, health care providers or other information that may be contained on or available through this Site. 

Newsletters

Through this Site we may offer you the opportunity to join our newsletter. You acknowledge that when you subscribe to our newsletter, you are agreeing to share information such as, but not limited to, your email address and name. You are always welcome to unsubscribe from our newsletter by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email. 

Links to Third-Party Websites

We are not responsible for the availability of any other site to which this Site links. We do not endorse or take responsibility for the content, advertising, products or other materials made available through any other site. Under no circumstances will we be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage that is caused or alleged to have been caused to you in connection with your use of, or reliance on, any content, goods or services available on any other site. You should direct any concerns to that site’s administrator or webmaster. We are not responsible for the views, opinions, or accuracy of facts referenced on or through our website, blog information, programs, products and services or those of any other individual or company affiliated with us in any way. Every effort has been made to present you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, but because the nature of scientific research is constantly evolving, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of our content.

Confidentiality and Special Concerns

We are committed to protecting your privacy and security and have explained in detail the steps we take to do so. Please read our Privacy Policy below.

Information disclosed during sessions is confidential and may not be disclosed to anyone without written permission from you, the client. However, law requires the following exceptions to client confidentiality: Where there is suspicion or evidence of child or elder abuse, where there is reasonable suspicion that the client presents a danger to themselves or others, and court order.

User-Generated Contributions and Privacy

The Site does not offer users the opportunity to post content or comments. Users do have the opportunity to send us a message, solely to schedule an appointment or ask a question on the “Contact” Page of this Site.

Prohibited Activities/Personal Responsibility

  1. Although PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo attempts to respond to messages within 48 hours, this Site may not be regularly monitored. DO NOT SEND ANY IMPORTANT OR TIME-SENSITIVE CLINICAL/PERSONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SITE.
  2. IF YOU ARE FEELING SUICIDAL OR ARE HAVING ANY THOUGHTS OF HURTING YOURSELF, DO NOT SEND A MESSAGE ON THIS SITE. PLEASE IMMEDIATELY CALL 911, GET YOURSELF TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM, OR CALL THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT 988. 

User Representations

By using the Site, you represent and warrant that: (1) you have the legal capacity and you agree to comply with these Terms of Use; (2) you are not a minor in the jurisdiction in which you reside; (3) you will not access the Site through automated or non-human means, whether through a bot, script, or otherwise; (4) you will not use the Site for any illegal or unauthorized purpose; and (5) your use of the Site will not violate any applicable law or regulation.

If you provide any information that is untrue, inaccurate, not current, or incomplete, we have the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Site (or any portion thereof).

Prohibited Activities

You may not access or use the Site for any purpose other than that for which we make the Site available. The Site may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically endorsed or approved by us.

Site Management

We reserve the right, but not the obligation, to: (1) monitor the Site for violations of these Terms of Use; (2) take appropriate legal action against anyone who, in our sole discretion, violates the law or these Terms of Use, including without limitation, reporting such user to law enforcement authorities; (3) in our sole discretion and without limitation, refuse, restrict access to, limit the availability of, or disable (to the extent technologically feasible) any of your Contributions or any portion thereof; (4) in our sole discretion and without limitation, notice, or liability, to remove from the Site or otherwise disable all files and content that are excessive in size or are in any way burdensome to our systems; and (5) otherwise manage the Site in a manner designed to protect our rights and property and to facilitate the proper functioning of the Site.

Term and Termination

These Terms of Use shall remain in full force and effect while you use the Site. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THESE TERMS OF USE, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO, IN OUR SOLE DISCRETION AND WITHOUT NOTICE OR LIABILITY, DENY ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE (INCLUDING BLOCKING CERTAIN IP ADDRESSES), TO ANY PERSON FOR ANY REASON OR FOR NO REASON, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION FOR BREACH OF ANY REPRESENTATION, WARRANTY, OR COVENANT CONTAINED IN THESE TERMS OF USE OR OF ANY APPLICABLE LAW OR REGULATION. WE MAY TERMINATE YOUR USE OR PARTICIPATION IN THE SITE OR DELETE ANY CONTENT OR INFORMATION THAT YOU POSTED AT ANY TIME, WITHOUT WARNING, IN OUR SOLE DISCRETION.

Modifications and Interruptions 

We reserve the right to change, modify, or remove the contents of the Site at any time or for any reason at our sole discretion without notice. However, we have no obligation to update any information on our Site. We also reserve the right to modify or discontinue all or part of the Site without notice at any time. We will not be liable to you or any third party for any modification, price change, suspension, or discontinuance of the Site.

We cannot guarantee the Site will be available at all times. We may experience hardware, software, or other problems or need to perform maintenance related to the Site, resulting in interruptions, delays, or errors. We reserve the right to change, revise, update, suspend, discontinue, or otherwise modify the Site at any time or for any reason without notice to you. You agree that we have no liability whatsoever for any loss, damage, or inconvenience caused by your inability to access or use the Site during any downtime or discontinuance of the Site. Nothing in these Terms of Use will be construed to obligate us to maintain and support the Site or to supply any corrections, updates or releases in connection therewith.

Governing Law

These Terms shall be governed by and defined following the laws of Texas, without regard to principles of conflicts of law. PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo and you irrevocably consent that the courts of Texas shall have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve any dispute which may arise in connection with these terms.

Corrections

There may be information on the Site that contains typographical errors, inaccuracies, or omissions, including descriptions, pricing, availability, and various other information. We reserve the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies, or omissions and to change or update the information on the Site at any time, without prior notice.

Disclaimer

THE SITE IS PROVIDED ON AN AS-IS AND AS-AVAILABLE BASIS. YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THE SITE AND OUR SERVICES WILL BE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN CONNECTION WITH THE SITE AND YOUR USE THEREOF, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. WE MAKE NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE SITE’S CONTENT OR THE CONTENT OF ANY WEBSITES LINKED TO THE SITE AND WE WILL ASSUME NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY (1) ERRORS, MISTAKES, OR INACCURACIES OF CONTENT AND MATERIALS, (2) PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, OF ANY NATURE WHATSOEVER, RESULTING FROM YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, (3) ANY UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR USE OF OUR SECURE SERVERS AND/OR ANY AND ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION AND/OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION STORED THEREIN, (4) ANY INTERRUPTION OR CESSATION OF TRANSMISSION TO OR FROM THE SITE, (5) ANY BUGS, VIRUSES, TROJAN HORSES, OR THE LIKE WHICH MAY BE TRANSMITTED TO OR THROUGH THE SITE BY ANY THIRD PARTY, AND/OR (6) ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN ANY CONTENT AND MATERIALS OR FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF ANY CONTENT POSTED, TRANSMITTED, OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE VIA THE SITE. WE DO NOT WARRANT, ENDORSE, GUARANTEE, OR ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE ADVERTISED OR OFFERED BY A THIRD PARTY THROUGH THE SITE, ANY HYPERLINKED WEBSITE, OR ANY WEBSITE OR MOBILE APPLICATION FEATURED IN ANY BANNER OR OTHER ADVERTISING, AND WE WILL NOT BE A PARTY TO OR IN ANY WAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND ANY THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES. AS WITH THE PURCHASE OF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE THROUGH ANY MEDIUM OR IN ANY ENVIRONMENT, YOU SHOULD USE YOUR BEST JUDGMENT AND EXERCISE CAUTION WHERE APPROPRIATE.

Limitations of Liability

IN NO EVENT WILL PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFIT, LOST REVENUE, LOSS OF DATA, OR OTHER DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR USE OF THE SITE, EVEN IF PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo  HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED HEREIN, PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF THE ACTION, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT PAID, IF ANY, BY YOU TO PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF THIS SITE.

Indemnification

You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold us harmless, including our subsidiaries, affiliates, and all of our respective officers, agents, partners, and employees, from and against any loss, damage, liability, claim, or demand, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses, made by any third party due to or arising out of: (1) use of the Site; (2) breach of these Terms of Use; (3) any breach of your representations and warranties set forth in these Terms of Use; (4) your violation of the rights of a third party, including but not limited to intellectual property rights; or (5) any overt harmful act toward any other user of the Site with whom you connected via the Site. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we reserve the right, at your expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter for which you are required to indemnify us, and you agree to cooperate, at your expense, with our defense of such claims. We will use reasonable efforts to notify you of any such claim, action, or proceeding which is subject to this indemnification upon becoming aware of it.

User Data

We will maintain certain data that you transmit to the Site for the purpose of managing the performance of the Site, as well as data relating to your use of the Site. Although we perform regular routine backups of data, you are solely responsible for all data that you transmit or that relates to any activity you have undertaken using the Site. You agree that we shall have no liability to you for any loss or corruption of any such data, and you hereby waive any right of action against us arising from any such loss or corruption of such data.

Electronic Communications, Transactions and Signatures

Visiting the Site, sending us emails/forms, and subscribing to emails constitute electronic communications. You consent to receive electronic communications, and you agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures, and other communications we provide to you electronically, via email and on the Site, satisfy any legal requirement that such communication be in writing. You hereby waive any rights or requirements under any statutes, regulations, rules, ordinances, or other laws in any jurisdiction which require an original signature or delivery or retention of non-electronic records, or to payments or the granting of credits by any means other than electronic means.

Miscellaneous

These Terms of Use and any policies or operating rules posted by us on the Site or in respect to the Site constitute the entire agreement and understanding between you and us. Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms of Use shall not operate as a waiver of such right or provision. These Terms of Use operate to the fullest extent permissible by law. We may assign any or all of our rights and obligations to others at any time. We shall not be responsible or liable for any loss, damage, delay, or failure to act caused by any cause beyond our reasonable control. If any provision or part of a provision of these Terms of Use is determined to be unlawful, void, or unenforceable, that provision or part of the provision is deemed severable from these Terms of Use and does not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. There is no joint venture, partnership, employment or agency relationship created between you and us as a result of these Terms of Use or use of the Site. You agree that these Terms of Use will not be construed against us by virtue of having drafted them. You hereby waive any and all defenses you may have based on the electronic form of these Terms of Use and the lack of signing by the parties hereto to execute these Terms of Use.

Contact Us

In order to resolve a complaint regarding the Site or to receive further information regarding use of the Site, please contact us at  info@pearspllc.com.

II. Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy describes Our policies and procedures on the collection, use and disclosure of Your information when You use the website and tells You about Your privacy rights and how the law protects You.

We use Your Personal data to provide and improve the website. By using the website, You agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Interpretation and Definitions

Interpretation

The words of which the initial letter is capitalized have meanings defined under the following conditions. The following definitions shall have the same meaning regardless of whether they appear in singular or in plural.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Privacy Policy:

Affiliate means an entity that controls, is controlled by or is under common control with a party, where “control” means ownership of 50% or more of the shares, equity interest or other securities entitled to vote for election of directors or other managing authority.

Company (referred to as either “the Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our” in this Agreement) refers to PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo, 6800 Weiskopf Avenue, Suite 150 McKinney, Texas 75070.

Cookies are small files that are placed on Your computer, mobile device or any other device by a website, containing the details of Your browsing history on that website among its many uses.

Country refers to: Texas, United States

Device means any device that can access the Service such as a computer, a cellphone or a digital tablet.

Personal Data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual.

Service refers to the Website.

Service Provider means any natural or legal person who processes the data on behalf of the Company. It refers to third-party companies or individuals employed by the Company to facilitate the Service, to provide the Service on behalf of the Company, to perform services related to the Service or to assist the Company in analyzing how the Service is used.

Usage Data refers to data collected automatically, either generated by the use of the Service or from the Service infrastructure itself (for example, the duration of a page visit).

Website refers to PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo, accessible from pearspllc.com.

You means the individual accessing or using the Service, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.

Collecting and Using Your Personal Data

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using Our Service, We may ask You to provide Us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify You. Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

Email address

First name and last name

Phone number

Usage Data
Any personally disclosed information provided through the contact form(s) on the website

Usage Data

Usage Data is collected automatically when using the Service.

Usage Data may include information such as Your Device’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that You visit, the time and date of Your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

When You access the Service by or through a mobile device, We may collect certain information automatically, including, but not limited to, the type of mobile device You use, Your mobile device unique ID, the IP address of Your mobile device, Your mobile operating system, the type of mobile Internet browser You use, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

We may also collect information that Your browser sends whenever You visit our Service or when You access the Service by or through a mobile device.

Tracking Technologies and Cookies

We use Cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on Our Service and store certain information. Tracking technologies used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze Our Service. The technologies We use may include:

  • Cookies or Browser Cookies. A cookie is a small file placed on Your Device. You can instruct Your browser to refuse all Cookies or to indicate when a Cookie is being sent. However, if You do not accept Cookies, You may not be able to use some parts of our Service. Unless you have adjusted Your browser setting so that it will refuse Cookies, our Service may use Cookies.
  • Web Beacons. Certain sections of our Service and our emails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that permit the Company, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of a certain section and verifying system and server integrity).

Cookies can be “Persistent” or “Session” Cookies. Persistent Cookies remain on Your personal computer or mobile device when You go offline, while Session Cookies are deleted as soon as You close Your web browser. Learn more about cookies on the Privacy Policies website article.

We use both Session and Persistent Cookies for the purposes set out below:

Necessary / Essential Cookies

Type: Session Cookies

Administered by: Us

Purpose: These Cookies are essential to provide You with services available through the Website and to enable You to use some of its features.  Without these Cookies, the services that You have asked for cannot be provided, and We only use these Cookies to provide You with those services.

Cookies Policy / Notice Acceptance Cookies

Type: Persistent Cookies

Administered by: Us

Purpose: These Cookies identify if users have accepted the use of cookies on the Website.

Functionality Cookies

Type: Persistent Cookies

Administered by: Us

Purpose: These Cookies allow us to remember choices You make when You use the Website, such as remembering your login details or language preference. The purpose of these Cookies is to provide You with a more personal experience and to avoid You having to re-enter your preferences every time You use the Website.

For more information about the cookies we use and your choices regarding cookies, please visit our Cookies Policy or the Cookies section of our Privacy Policy.

Use of Your Personal Data

The Company may use Personal Data for the following purposes:

To provide and maintain our Service, including to monitor the usage of our Service.

To contact You: To contact You by email, telephone calls, SMS, or other equivalent forms of electronic communication, such as a mobile application’s push notifications regarding updates or informative communications related to the functionalities, products or contracted services, including the security updates, when necessary or reasonable for their implementation.

To provide You with news, special offers and general information about other goods, services and events which we offer that are similar to those that you have already purchased or enquired about unless You have opted not to receive such information.

To manage Your requests: To attend and manage Your requests to Us.

For business transfers: We may use Your information to evaluate or conduct a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of Our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which Personal Data held by Us about our Service users is among the assets transferred.

For other purposes: We may use Your information for other purposes, such as data analysis, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and to evaluate and improve our Service, products, services, marketing and your experience.

We may share Your personal information in the following situations:

  • With Service Providers: We may share Your personal information with Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service, to contact You.
  • For business transfers: We may share or transfer Your personal information in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of Company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of Our business to another company.
  • With Affiliates: We may share Your information with Our affiliates, in which case we will require those affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. Affiliates include Our parent company and any other subsidiaries, joint venture partners or other companies that We control or that are under common control with Us.
  • With business partners: We may share Your information with Our business partners to offer You certain products, services or promotions.
  • With other users: when You share personal information or otherwise interact in the public areas with other users, such information may be viewed by all users and may be publicly distributed outside.
  • With Your consent: We may disclose Your personal information for any other purpose with Your consent.

Retention of Your Personal Data

The Company will retain Your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our Service, or We are legally obligated to retain this data for longer time periods.

Transfer of Your Personal Data

Your information, including Personal Data, is processed at the Company’s operating offices and in any other places where the parties involved in the processing are located. It means that this information may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of Your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from Your jurisdiction.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by Your submission of such information represents Your agreement to that transfer.

The Company will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of Your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of Your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Your Personal Data

Business Transactions

If the Company is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, Your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before Your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Law enforcement

Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Other legal requirements

The Company may disclose Your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

  • Comply with a legal obligation
  • Protect and defend the rights or property of the Company
  • Prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
  • Protect the personal safety of Users of the Service or the public
  • Protect against legal liability

Security of Your Personal Data

The security of Your Personal Data is important to Us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect Your Personal Data, We cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13. If You are a parent or guardian and You are aware that Your child has provided Us with Personal Data, please contact Us. If We become aware that We have collected Personal Data from anyone under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, We take steps to remove that information from Our servers.

If We need to rely on consent as a legal basis for processing Your information and Your country requires consent from a parent, We may require Your parent’s consent before We collect and use that information.

Links to Other Websites

Our Service may contain links to other websites that are not operated by Us. If You click on a third party link, You will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise You to review the Privacy Policy of every site You visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may update Our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify You of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let You know via email and/or a prominent notice on Our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “Last updated” date at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, You can contact us:

  • By email:  info@pearspllc.com

IV. HIPAA Policy

PEARS, PLLC/Dr. Heather Arduengo

6800 Weiskopf Avenue, Suite 150 McKinney, Texas 75070
817-826-9572
Info at pearspllc dot com

EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE

This notice went into effect on 1/22/24.

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

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

  1. MY PLEDGE REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION:

I understand that health information about you and your health care is personal. I am committed to protecting health information about you. I create a record of the care and services you receive from me. I need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by this mental health care practice. This notice will tell you about the ways in which I may use and disclose health information about you. I also describe your rights to the health information I keep about you, and describe certain obligations I have regarding the use and disclosure of your health information. I am required by law to:

  • Make sure that protected health information (“PHI”) that identifies you is kept private.
  • Give you this notice of my legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information.
  • Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
  • 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.
  1. 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.

For Treatment Payment, or Health Care Operations: Federal 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 any health care provider. This too can be done without your written authorization. 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 personal 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.

Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are involved in a lawsuit, I may disclose health information in response to a court or administrative order. I may also disclose health information about your child in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

III. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION:

  1. Psychotherapy Notes. I do keep “psychotherapy notes” as that term is defined in 45 CFR § 164.501, and any use or disclosure of such notes requires your Authorization unless the use or disclosure is:
    • For my use in treating you.
    • For my use in training or supervising mental health practitioners to help them improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling or therapy.
    • For my use in defending myself in legal proceedings instituted by you.
    • For use by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate my compliance with HIPAA.
    • Required by law and the use or disclosure is limited to the requirements of such law.
    • Required by law for certain health oversight activities pertaining to the originator of the psychotherapy notes.
    • Required by a coroner who is performing duties authorized by law.
    • Required to help avert a serious threat to the health and safety of others.
  2. Marketing Purposes. As a psychotherapist, I will not use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes.
  3. Sale of PHI. As a psychotherapist, I will not sell your PHI in the regular course of my business.
  1. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES DO NOT REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION:

Subject to certain limitations in the law, I can use and disclose your PHI without your Authorization for the following reasons:

  1. When disclosure is required by state or federal law, and the use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of such law.
  2. For public health activities, including reporting suspected child, elder, or dependent adult abuse, or preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety.
  3. For health oversight activities, including audits and investigations.
  4. For judicial and administrative proceedings, including responding to a court or administrative order, although my preference is to obtain an Authorization from you before doing so.
  5. For law enforcement purposes, including reporting crimes occurring on my premises.
  6. To coroners or medical examiners, when such individuals are performing duties authorized by law.
  7. For research purposes, including studying and comparing the mental health of patients who received one form of therapy versus those who received another form of therapy for the same condition.
  8. Specialized government functions, including ensuring the proper execution of military missions; protecting the President of the United States; conducting intelligence or counter-intelligence operations; or helping to ensure the safety of those working within or housed in correctional institutions.
  9. For workers’ compensation purposes. Although my preference is to obtain an Authorization from you, I may provide your PHI in order to comply with workers’ compensation laws.
  10. Appointment reminders and health related benefits or services. I may use and disclose your PHI to contact you to remind you that you have an appointment with me. I may also use and disclose your PHI to tell you about treatment alternatives, or other health care services or benefits that I offer.
  1. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES REQUIRE YOU TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT:
  1. Disclosures to family, friends, or others. I may provide your PHI to a family member, friend, or other person that you indicate is involved in your care or the payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part. The opportunity to consent may be obtained retroactively in emergency situations.
  1. YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PHI:
  1. The Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI. You have the right to ask me not to use or disclose certain PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations purposes. I am not required to agree to your request, and I may say “no” if I believe it would affect your health care.
  2. The Right to 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.
  3. The Right to 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.
  4. The Right to 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. I will provide you with a copy of your record, or a summary of it, if you agree to receive a summary, within 30 days of receiving your written request, and I may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for doing so.
  5. The Right to 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.
  6. The Right to 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.
  7. The Right to 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-mail, you also have the right to request a paper copy of it.

Right to Change Privacy Practices Notice

I have the right to change my privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time. I reserve the right to apply any changes in the Notice to information I already have and to information that I receive in the future. If I make an important change to our Notice, I will post the revised Notice on this website.

Complaints

If you believe I have violated your privacy rights, you have the right to file a complaint in writing with the Secretary of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201 or by calling (202) 619-0257. I will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

 

V. Social Media and Online Engagement Policy

I, Dr. Heather Arduengo adhere to specific standards within the mental health profession concerning the use of social media. It is my responsibility to inform you of the professional boundaries that pertain to our therapeutic relationship in the context of social media and online interactions. In this policy, I explain these standards and their potential implications for you, empowering you to make informed decisions aligned with your preferences.

As a client, you have the freedom to share or withhold information about your therapy or assessment process and your feelings regarding it. You are free to do so with anyone, in any manner, and at any time. However, it is important to be mindful that I am bound by confidentiality rules and cannot publicly acknowledge or respond to any hints or possible interpretations of a clinical connection with current or former clients.

Please take a moment to review this section, which outlines my conduct as a mental health professional on the internet and what you can expect in response to online situations.

To safeguard your confidentiality, maintain a clear therapeutic relationship, and respect our respective privacy, I refrain from accepting friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. I do not use social media platforms for direct communication with clients, and any comments, questions, reviews, or messages may go unseen, be deleted, lack security, and do not meet HIPAA standards. I will never initiate contact with you via social media.

Any updates to your personal information should exclusively occur through the secure client portal. Please reach out to me solely via my secure email or phone service for communication.

I do not follow current or former clients on any social media platform for any reason. If there is any online content you wish to share with me, kindly inform me during our session, allowing us to discuss it during the therapy appointment.

Any online or social media presence I may maintain, either currently or in the future, serves educational purposes only. I will never seek reviews, testimonials, endorsements, ratings, or grades from clients.

You are entitled to have an online or social media presence as well, and I do not use it as a means to gather information about you. Our therapeutic relationship is solely based on our engagement and discussions during sessions.

If you have questions or concerns about these standards, please do not hesitate to contact me. Social media is a dynamic landscape, and updates to this policy may become necessary. Any revisions will be communicated here.



VI. Accessibility Statement

 

pearspllc.com is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. We are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and in doing so adhere to many of the available standards and guidelines.

 

This website endeavors to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the following accessibility standards: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA, PDF/Universal Accessibility (PDF/UA). These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user-friendly for all people. Through genuine effort and commitment including testing, audits, consulting, and remediation, we believe pearspllc.com adheres to best practices for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 

This site has been built using code compliant with W3C standards for HTML and CSS. The site displays correctly in current browsers and using standards-compliant HTML/CSS code means any future browsers will also display it correctly. Please note older browsers may not display the website content correctly.

 

Whilst pearspllc.com strives to adhere to the accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website.

 

For more information on web accessibility and legal requirements, here are helpful resources:

 

We welcome your feedback on your experience with pearspllc.com. Email us at info@pearspllc.com with any questions or comments you have.



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