Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility Privacy
A reputable drug and alcohol treatment facility must go to great lengths to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all its patients. As a leading provider of drug treatment, alcohol treatment, and dual diagnosis, Transitions Recovery meets the highest standards of treatment facility privacy. Patients at our alcohol and drug treatment facility are assured of our greatest efforts to protect the anonymity of everyone who enters Transitions Recovery.
Our alcohol and drug treatment facility staff understand the importance of respecting the privacy of your information and treats it with utmost care. We are diligent in our adherence to all state and federal requirements for privacy and use of patient information. You can rest assured that our drug and alcohol treatment facility is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your health information in all communications and records, as outlined below in our Notice of Information Practices.
The privacy of our website users is also respected. We do not make available any identifiable information to third parties. We may use email to provide general information about our services to patients who have registered for services at Transitions Recovery and provide their email addresses. However, those who do not wish to receive these emails from us may indicate so at the time or registration or by following the instructions at the bottom of any e-mail from us.
Notice of Information Practices
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Understanding Your Substance Abuse / Mental Health Record Information
Each time you visit a hospital, physician or other healthcare provider, the provider makes a record of your visit. Typically, this record contains your health history, current symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your medical record serves as a:
- A basis for planning your care and treatment.
- Means of communicating among the many health professionals who contribute to your care.
- Legal document describing the care you received.
- Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that you actually received the services billed for.
- A tool in medical education.
- A source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the regions they serve.
- A tool to assess the appropriateness and quality of care you received.
- A tool to improve the quality of healthcare and achieve better patient outcomes
Understanding what is in your health records and how your health information is used helps you to:
- Ensure its accuracy and completeness.
- Understand who, what, where, why, and how others may assess your health information.
- Make informed decisions about authorizing disclosures to others.
- Better understand the health information rights detailed below.
YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE FEDERAL PRIVACY STANDARD
Although your health records are the physical property of the healthcare provider who completed it, you have certain rights with regard to the information contained therein. You have the right to:
- Request restriction on uses and disclosures of your health information for treatment, payment and healthcare operations: Healthcare operations consist of activities that are necessary to carry out the operations of the provider, such as quality assurance and peer review. The right to request restriction does not extend to uses or disclosures permitted or required under sections 164.502(a)(2)(I) (disclosures to you), 164.510(a) (for facility directories, but note that you have the right to object to such uses), or 164.512 (uses and disclosures not requiring a consent or an authorization). The latter uses and disclosures include, for example, those required by law, like mandatory communicable disease reporting. In those cases, you do not have a right to request restriction. Even in those cases in which you do have the right to request restriction, we do not have to agree to the restriction. If we do, however, we will adhere to it unless you request otherwise or we give you advance notice.
- Ask us to communicate with you by alternate means: If the method of communication is reasonable, we must grant the alternate communication request.
- Receive and keep a copy of this notice of information practices: Although we have posted a copy in prominent locations throughout the facility and on our website, if you access those copies, you nonetheless have a right to a hard copy on request. The law requires us to ask you to acknowledge receipt of your copy.
- Inspect and copy your health information upon request: This right is not absolute. In certain situations, such as if access would cause harm, we can deny access. You do not have a right to access of the following:
- Psychotherapy notes – such notes comprise those that are recorded in any medium by a healthcare provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing a conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session and that are separated from the rest of your medical record.
- Information compiled in reasonable anticipation of or for use in a civil, criminal, or administrative actions or proceedings.
- Any of your health information that is subject to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments if 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. 263a, to the extent that the provision of access to the individual would be prohibited by law.
- Information that was obtained from someone other than a healthcare provider under a premise of confidentiality when the access requested would be reasonably likely to reveal the source of the information.
In other situations, we may deny you access but, if we do, we must provide you with a review of the decision denying access. These reviewable grounds for denial include:
- When a licensed healthcare professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the access is reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or another person.
- When the protected health information makes reference to another person (other than a healthcare provider) and a licensed healthcare provider has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the access is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to such other person.
- The request is made by the individual’s personal representative and a licensed healthcare professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the provision of access to such personal representative is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the individual or another person.
For these reviewable grounds, another licensed professional must review the decision of the provider denying access within 60 days. If we deny you access, we will explain why and what your rights are, including how to seek review.
If we grant access, we will tell you what, if anything, you have to do to get access.
We reserve the right to charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for making copies.
Request amendment/correction of your health information.
We do not have to grant the request if:
- We did not create the record. If, as in the case of a consultation report from another provider, we did not create the record, we cannot know whether it is accurate or not. Thus, in such cases, you must seek amendment / correction from the party creating the record. If they amend or correct the record, we will put the corrected record in our records.
- The records are not available to you as discussed immediately above.
- The record is accurate and complete.
If we deny your request for amendment / correction, we will notify you why, how you can attach a statement of disagreement to your records (which we may rebut), and how you can complain to our complaint official or to the Department of Health and Human Services. If we grant the request, we will make the correction and distribute the correction to those who need it and those you identify to us that you want to receive the corrected information.
Obtain an accounting of non-routine uses and disclosures.
You may request an accounting for uses and disclosures other than those for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations or of protected health information about them. We do not need to provide an accounting for the following:
- Disclosures to you.
- Disclosures authorized by you.
- For disclosures of limited data sets (partially de-identified data used for research, public health, or healthcare operations). For the facility directory or to persons involved in your care or for other notification purposes as provided in 164.510 (uses and disclosures requiring an opportunity for the individual to agree or to object, including notification to family members, personal representatives, or other persons responsible for the care of the individual, of the individual’s location, general condition or death).
- For national security or intelligence purposes under 164.512(k)(2) (disclosures not requiring consent, authorization, or an opportunity to object).
- To correctional institutions or law enforcement officials under 164.512(k)(5) (disclosures not requiring consent, authorization or an opportunity to object).
- Those occurring before April 14, 2003.
We must provide the accounting within 60 days. The accounting must include:
- Date of each disclosure.
- Name and address of the organization or person who received the protected health information.
- Brief description of the information disclosed.
- Brief statement of the purpose of the disclosure that reasonably informs you of the basis for the disclosure or, in lieu of such statement, a copy of the written authorization or a copy of the written request for disclosure.
The first accounting in any 12-month period is free. Thereafter, we reserve the right to charge a reasonable cost-based fee.
OUR RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE FEDERAL PRIVACY STANDARD
In addition to providing you your rights, as detailed above, the federal privacy standard requires us to:
- Maintain the privacy of your health information, including implementing reasonable and appropriate physical, administrative, and technical safeguards to protect the information.
- Provide you with this notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to individually identified health information we collect and maintain about you.
- Abide by the terms of this notice.
Train our personnel concerning privacy and confidentiality.
- Implement a sanction policy to discipline those who breach privacy / confidentiality or our policies with regard thereto.
- Mitigate (lessen the harm of) any breach of privacy / confidentiality.
WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OUR PRACTICES AND TO MAKE THE NEW PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE FOR ALL INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION WE MAINTAIN. SHOULD WE CHANGE OUR INFORMATION PRACTICES, WE WILL MAIL A REVISED NOTICE TO THE ADDRESS YOU HAVE SUPPLIED US.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your consent or authorization, except as described in this notice or otherwise required by law.
HOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION OR REPORT A PROBLEM
If you have questions and/or would like additional information, you may contact the Privacy Officer at 305-949-9001.
EXAMPLES OF DISCLOSURES FOR TREATMENT, PAYMENT AND HEALTH OPERATIONS
Treatment – If you give us consent or with the regulatory consent granted by the Department of Health and Human Services if applicable, we may use or disclose your health information for treatment.
Example: A physician, nurse, or other member of your healthcare team will record information in your record to diagnose your condition and determine the best course of treatment for you. The primary caregiver will give treatment orders and document what he or she expects other members of the healthcare team to do to treat you. Those other members will then document the actions they took and their observations. In that way, the primary caregiver will know how you are responding to treatment.
We will also provide your physician, other healthcare professionals, or a subsequent healthcare provider with copies of your records to assist them in treating you once we are no longer treating you.
Payment – If you give us consent or with the regulatory consent granted by the Department of Health and Human Services is applicable, we may use or disclose your health information for payment.
Example: We may send a bill to you or to a third-party payer, such as a health insurer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, your diagnosis, treatment received and supplies used.
Health Operations – If you give us consent or with the regulatory consent granted by the Department of Health and Human Services we may use or disclose your health information for health operations.
Examples: Members of the medical staff, the risk or quality improvement manager, or members of the quality assurance team may use information in your health record to assess that care and outcomes in your cases and the competence of the care-givers. We will use this information in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and services we provide.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OTHER THAN FOR TREATMENT, PAYMENT OR HEALTHCARE OPERATIONS
Business Associates – We provide some services through contracts with business associates. Examples include certain Quest Diagnostic Laboratories, Treasure Island Pharmacy, Detoxification Hospitals, Medical / Psychiatric Hospitals, and MedPro Billing. When we use these services, we may disclose your health information to the business associate so that they can perform the function(s) we have contracted with them to do and bill you or your third-party payer for services rendered. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
Notification – With consent from you or in the case of an emergency, your listed emergency contact, we may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location, and general condition.
Public Health – As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability.
Law Enforcement – We may disclose health information for purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.
Health Oversight Agencies and Public Health Authorities – If a member of our work force or a business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers, or the public, they may disclose your health information to health oversight agencies and / or public health authorities such as the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Federal Department of Health and Human Services, DCF, AHCA, JCAHO – Under the privacy standards, we must disclose your health information to the above named organizations as necessary for them to determine our compliance with their standards.
Effective Date: January 1, 2003