CODAC Behavioral Healthcare - Privacy Statement

Notice of Privacy Practices



CODAC, Inc.

Notice of Privacy 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.

Introduction

This Notice of Privacy Practices is provided to help you understand how CODAC may use or disclose your protected health information and what rights you have to your information. Please read it carefully and feel free to ask any questions about the content of this Notice before signing on the last page. This Notice applies to all CODAC locations.

As used in this Notice, the term "protected health information" means information which CODAC has received or created which identifies you and which has to do with your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition, the provision of health services to you, or the past, present, or future payment for these services.

This Notice informs you of the general categories of uses or disclosures, but is not intended to include every specific instance within each category for which your protected health information may be used or disclosed.

Effective Date and Revisions

This Notice is effective on April 14, 2003.

We reserve the right to change this Notice, and to make the new privacy practices effective for all protected health information we maintain. Should our privacy practices change, copies of the revised Notice will be available at all service locations and will be posted on our website prior to the effective date of the changes.

A paper copy of CODAC's most current Notice will be provided to you on your request. Your request does not have to be in writing.

Your Protected Health Information Rights

Although the health record is the physical property of CODAC, the protected health information in it belongs to you. You have the right

• To inspect and to obtain a copy of your protected health information; we may charge you for the copy, but we only can deny this access in limited circumstances and then we must inform you of the denial and any rights you may have to appeal.

• To amend your protected health information; if we do not accept your amendment, we are required to provide you with our reasons and to allow you to submit a statement of disagreement.

• To request an accounting of certain disclosures we have made of your protected health information since April 14, 2003.

• To request that we communicate your protected health information to you only in a certain location or in a certain way; for example, you may want us only to contact you by telephone and only at work or only at home.

• To request a restriction on our use or disclosure of your protected health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations or disclosures to family members or others you identify as being involved in your care or payment for your care; we are not required to agree to your restriction.

• To change any authorization (permission) you may have granted us to use or disclose your protected health information, that is, you may revoke it (please see below).

You must send your request for any of the above in writing, to CODAC's Privacy Officer whose address appears at the end of this Notice.

CODAC's Responsibilities

Federal law requires that we:
• maintain the privacy of your protected health information;
• provide you with this Notice;
• abide by the terms of our current Notice;
• not intimidate you or take any retaliatory action against you for exercising your rights to your protected health information or                   complaining about our privacy practices; and
• not require you to waive your right to complain to the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a condition of obtaining treatment     from us.

Uses and Disclosures of Your Protected Health Information

Below is a summary of uses and disclosures of your protected health information which one federal law, known as HIPAA, permits without your written authorization. Rhode Island state law provides additional protections for mental health records and, if you are receiving alcohol or substance abuse treatment services, your records have protections of other federal law.

We do not disclose your information without your written permission unless an emergency exists or we are required by law to do so. Our internal uses of your information are explained in the first three categories below.

Your Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information in order to provide and coordinate your treatment within CODAC. You will have the opportunity to request restrictions on our uses and disclosures for treatment purposes. We will ask you to specifically authorize disclosures to health care providers not associated with CODAC.

Example: A nurse, physician, or CODAC staff will record information obtained by or about you in your record and this will be disclosed to and used by your clinician and other CODAC staff to provide or arrange services for you without your written permission

Payment: In some instances, we are permitted to bill your insurance company without your written permission. We will ask, however, for your written permission and whether you wish to restrict our use and disclosure of your protected health information for this purpose.

Example: The information on or accompanying a bill to your insurance company may include information that identifies you, as well as other demographic information, your diagnosis, date of service, medications, etc.

Our Healthcare Operations: Federal law permits us to use or disclose your protected health information for our own healthcare operations. We ask you to give permission and whether you wish to restrict our use or disclosure for these purposes.

Example: Healthcare operations may involve consultants and include such things as peer review of professional staff, management audits, program evaluations, licensing and accreditation activities, legal representation, accounting consultation, utilization review and other activities related to the delivery of health services and compliance with legal or accreditation activities. In making these disclosures, we require any consultants to disclose or use protected health information only for the purpose for which it is released to them. Also, when feasible, we disclose information in a way which does not identify individual clients. We do not identify individual clients in any reports which result from our healthcare operations unless we have their express written permission.

Abuse, Neglect, Domestic Violence: Various state laws require that we report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect; abuse of persons with developmental disabilities; abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of persons in health care facilities; and abuse, neglect, mistreatment and abandonment of persons 60 years of age or older to specific government entities. We will disclose protected health information without your authorization to the extent necessary to make such reports. In other instances, if you are 18 years old or older and we believe you are the victim of domestic violence, we will not report your situation unless you authorize us to do so.

Health Oversight: CODAC services may be subject to oversight by the Department of Health and/or the Department of Mental Health Retardation and Hospitals and protected health information may be disclosed in the course of their oversight activities. We also are required to disclose protected health information to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services as necessary to our compliance with HIPAA.

In Case of Death: We may be required to disclose your protected health information to medical examiners who are investigating your death. We do not disclose your protected health information to funeral directors or coroners unless you or your personal representative has given us written permission to do so.

Judicial and Administrative Proceedings: We must disclose protected health information in response to a court order. Although there are instances when we are permitted to respond to a subpoena without your written permission, we seek your permission or a court order before responding to any subpoena.

Law Enforcement: In limited circumstances we may disclose protected health information to law enforcement, such as if we believe you are a danger to yourself or others. In most instances, we will ask you to authorize any disclosures to law enforcement. If you commit a crime on CODAC premises, we may report the crime to the police.

Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation: We generally are not involved with organ, eye, and tissue donations, but if appropriate, we may ask you to authorize disclosure of your protected health information to organizations involved in organ, eye, or tissue procurement, banking, or transplantation.

Public Health: We may disclose your protected health information to Rhode Island's Director of Health for activities for which the health department has authority.

Reminders and Alternatives: We may contact you to remind you of appointments or to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

Research: We may disclose protected health information for research which has been approved in accordance with federal regulations and when appropriate procedures and documentation have been instituted to protect your information. Your authorization for our disclosures related to research may be incorporated into the consent you are asked to sign in order to participate in the research.

Serious Threat to Health or Safety: If we have a reasonable belief that you are a danger to yourself or a member of your family or other specifically identified person, we may disclose your protected health information to law enforcement or to other person(s) as required by law.

Specialized Government Functions: Federal law permits us to disclose your protected health information for such things as military purposes, protection of the President or other special government functions. Unless we are legally prohibited from doing so, or an emergency exists, we will seek your authorization before making such disclosures.

Workers' Compensation: We will seek your authorization before making any disclosure of your protected health information in relation to a current claim you may have for workers' compensation or in relation to any court proceeding related to workers' compensation.

Opportunities to Agree or Object

We are required to give you an opportunity to object or agree, except in emergencies, to our use or disclosure of your protected health information in a directory we may develop, or to inform or notify persons involved with your care of your general condition or of your death, or to aid in disaster relief activities. We will meet this requirement by asking for your written permission for such disclosures, unless an emergency exists.

Revocation

If, after you authorize a use or disclosure, you change your mind, you must tell us in writing that you no longer permit the use or disclosure. That is, you must tell us that you revoke your authorization. Your revocation will not change any use or disclosure made before we received your written revocation. Please send any revocation to the Program Director at the CODAC office where you receive services.

For More Information or to Report a Problem

If you have questions, or would like additional information you may contact CODAC's Privacy Officer at CODAC, INC. 1052 Park Ave. Cranston, RI 02910.

If you believe we have violated your privacy rights you may submit a written complaint to CODAC's Privacy Officer or you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at either Government Center, JF Kennedy Federal Building, Room 1875, Boston, MA 02203 or at 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. , Room 515F, H Building, Washington, D.C. 20201

 


Copyright: CODAC Behavioral Healthcare 2010