THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Health information which we receive and/or create about you, personally, in this program, relating to your past, present, or future health, treatment, or payment for health care service, is protected health information (PHI) under the Federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 and 164. The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records maintained by this program is protected by another Federal law as well, commonly referred to as the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Confidentiality Law, 42 C.F.R. Part 2. Generally, the program may not say to a person outside the program that you attend the program, or disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser, or disclose any other protected health information except in limited circumstances as permitted by Federal law. Your health information is further protected by any pertinent state law that is more protective or stringent that either of these two Federal laws.
This notice describes how we protect PHI we have about you, and how we may use and disclose this information. This notice also describes your rights with respect to PHI and how you can exercise those rights.
Uses and Disclosures that may be made of your health information:
- Internal Communications:Your PHI will be used within our program between and among the clinical team and other staff members that have a need for the information in connection to diagnoses, treatment, payment, or health care operation purposes. For example: Two or more clinicians and/or other staff within the program may consult with each other regarding your best course of treatment. Your PHI will not be re-disclosed by any staff member, except as is otherwise permitted herein.
- Qualified Service Organization and/or Business Associates:Some or all of you PHI may be subject to disclosure through contracts for services with qualified service organizations and/or business associates, outside of this program, that assist our program in providing health care. Examples of qualified service organizations and/or business associates include: billing companies, data processing companies or companies that provide administrative or specialty services. To protect you PHI, we require these qualified service organizations and/or business associates to follow the same standards held by this program through terms detailed in a written agreement.
- Medical Emergencies:Your PHI may be disclosed to medical personnel in a medical emergency, when there is immediate threat to the health of an individual, and when immediate medical intervention is required.
- To Researchers:Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose your PHI for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all clients who received one test or treatment to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, must be approved by an Institutional Review Board, or other privacy review board as permitted within the regulation, that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your PHI.
- To Auditors and Evaluators:This program may disclose your PHI to regulatory agencies and review organizations that monitor alcohol and drug programs to ensure that the program is complying with regulatory mandates.
- Authorizing Court Order:This program may disclose your PHI pursuant to an authorizing court order. This is a unique kind of court order in which certain application procedures have been taken to protect your identity, and in which the court makes certain specific determinations as outlined in the Federal regulations and limited the scope of the disclosure.
- Crime on Program Premises or Against Program Personnel:This program may disclose a limited amount of you PHI to law enforcement when a client commits or threatens to commit a crime on the program premises or against program staff.
- Reporting Suspected Abuse and Neglect: This program may report suspected child abuse or neglect, elder abuse or dependent adult abuse as mandated by state law.
- Reporting Threat to injure or Kill:This program will report in a situation when a serious threat to injure or kill oneself is made. If a serious threat to injure or kill a reasonably well-identified victim is communicated, this will also be reported.
- As Required by Law:This program will disclose you PHI as required by state law in a manner otherwise permitted by federal privacy and confidentiality regulations.
- Other Uses and Disclosures or PHI:Other uses and disclosures of your PHI not covered by this notice will be made only with your written authorization. You may revoke that authorization at any time, except to the extent that we have already taken action relying on the authorization.
Your rights regarding PHI we maintain about you:
- Right to Inspect and Copy: In most cases, you have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the PHI that we maintain about you. To inspect and copy your PHI, you must submit your request in writing to Turning Point Centers’ Clinical Director. In order to receive a copy of you PHI, you may be charged a fee for photocopying, mailing, or other costs associated with your request. In some very limited circumstances we may, as authorized by law, deny you request to inspect and obtain a copy of you PHI. You will be notified of a denial to any part(s) of your request. Some denials, by law, are reviewable, and you will be notified regarding the procedures for invoking a right to have a denial reviewed. Other denials, however, as set forth in the law, are not reviewable. Each request will be reviewed individually, and a response will be provided to you in accordance with the law.
- Right to Amend Your PHI:If you believe that your PHI is incorrect or that an important part of it is missing, you have the right to ask us to amend your PHI while it is kept by or for us. You must provide your request and your reason for the request in writing, and submit it to Turning Point Centers’ Clinical Director. We may deny your request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason that supports the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend your PHI that we believe:
- Is accurate and complete,
- Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created your PHI is no longer available to make the amendment,
- Is not part of you PHI kept by or for us; or
- Is not part of your PHI which you would be permitted to inspect and copy.
If your right to amend is denied, we will notify you of the denial and provide you with instructions on how you may exercise your right to submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial and/or how you may request that your request to amend a copy of the denial be kept together with your PHI, and disclosed together with any further disclosures of your PHI.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures:You have the right to request an accounting or list of the disclosures that we have made of PHI about you. This list will not include certain disclosures as set forth in the HIPPA regulations, including those made for treatment, payment, or health care operations within our program, or made pursuant to your authorization or made directly to you. To request this list, you much submit your request in writing to Turning Point Centers’ Clinical Director. Your request must state the time period from which you want to receive a list of disclosures. The time period may not be longer than six years, and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (For example, on paper or electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. We may charge you for responding to any additional requests. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
- Right to Request Restrictions:You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on PHI we are permitted to use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations within our program. While we will consider your request, we are not required to agree to it. If we do agree to it, we will comply with your request, except in emergency situations where your PHI is needed to provide you with emergency treatment. We will not agree to restrictions on uses or disclosures that are legally required, or those which are legally permitted and which we reasonably believe to be in the best interest of your health.
- Right to Request Confidential Communications:You have the right to request that we communicate with you about PHI in a certain manner or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to Turning Point Centers’ Clinical Director, and specify how or where you with to be contacted. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
- Right to File a Complaint:If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Turning Point Centers, or with the Office of Civil Rights. To file a complaint with Turning Point Centers, contact our Clinical Director. To file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, send the written complaint to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Room 509F HHH Bldg., Washington DC 20201. You will not be penalized or otherwise retaliated against for filing a complaint.
Turning Point Centers is required to:
- Maintain the privacy of your PHI
- Provide you with this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI, and
- Abide by the terms of this Notice while it is in effect.
Turning Point Centers reserves the right to change the terms of this notice at any time and to make a new notice with provisions effective for your entire PHI that we maintain. In the event that changes are made, we will post current notices in the clinical office and group room. You may also request a copy of this notice and/or request additional information regarding Turning Point Centers privacy practices directly from our Clinical Director.