NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES AND LIMITS OF CONFIDENTIALITY HIPAA

 
 
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

Behavioral Aid Solutions has adopted the following policies and procedures for protection of the privacy of the people we serve. This notice describes how your medical, behavioral and mental health information may be used and/or disclosed and how you can access this information. Please read this notice carefully. You will receive a copy of this document on the date of admission to our agency and you may request a copy of this notice at any time after that.

 
Our Obligation to You, the Client.

We at Behavioral Aid Solutions respect your privacy. This is part of our code of ethics. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of “protected health information” about you, to notify you of our legal duties and your legal rights, and to follow the privacy policies described in this notice. “Protected health information” is any information that we create or receive that identifies you and relates to your health or payment for services provided to you.

 
USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

Use and disclosure for behavioral health services, payment and health care operations.

We will use your protected health information and disclose it to others as necessary to provide our services to you. Here are some examples:

  • Various members of our staff may see your client record throughout the time you are receiving services from us as well as after you are discharged from our care. This includes supervisors, licensed/certified staff, and clerical/support
  • Physically impaired licensed/certified professionals may require an assistant to perform certain tasks essential to your service needs. In the course of providing that assistance, your protected health information may be
  • We may provide information to your health plan, Medicaid, the Department of Children and Families, your other health care providers (primary care physician, psychiatrist, neurologist, etc.), court, government entities, or another treatment provider in order to arrange for referral and
  • We may contact you to remind you of
  • We may contact you to tell you about additional services that we offer that might be of benefit to
  • We may contact appropriate parties if it is very likely that you will cause serious bodily harm to yourself or others in the near
  • If you have a Legal Guardian, this person will be contacted to be part of our

We will use or disclose your protected health information as needed to arrange for payment for services provided to you. For example, information about your diagnosis and the service we render is included in the bills that we submit to a Third-Party Payer such as your health insurance plan, Medicaid, or another funding source. A Third-Party Payer may require health information in order to confirm that the service rendered is covered by your benefit program and medically necessary. A health care provider that delivers services to you, such as a respite care service, may need information about you in order to arrange payment for its services.

It may also be necessary to use or disclose protected health information for our health care operations or those of another organization that has a relationship with you. For example, our quality assurance reviews records to be sure that we deliver appropriate behavioral health services of high quality and maintain proper records. Some other examples are: our insurance providers may wish to review your records to be sure that we meet their standards and regulations for quality of care. We have funding sources that make possible the provision of services to our client. These funding services audit us in order to ensure appropriate use of their funds. In such audits, our funding sources may wish to review your records.

 
Our Policy:

It is our policy to obtain a general written permission to use and disclose your protected health information for purposes of behavioral health service provision, payment or health care operations. You will be asked to sign a Consent form to permit all such uses and disclosures of your information.

Emergencies. If there is an emergency, we will disclose your protected health information as needed to enable people to care for you.

Disclosure to your family and friends. You have the right to control disclosure of information about you to any other person, including family members or friends. We will request your written authorization to communicate with persons of your choosing in order to facilitate provision of services and proper care to you while you are our client.

If you have a Legal Guardian, the Legal Guardian has a right to a summary of your treatment and current progress. Generally, though there are exceptions, your Legal Guardian will be permitted to review and copy your record. One such exception exists in abuse/neglect situations where the access to your record by the Legal Guardian would be decided by the agency supervisor, exercising professional judgment.

Disclosure to health oversight agencies. We are legally obligated to disclose protected health information to certain government agencies, including Medicaid, health insurance companies, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Disclosures to protection agencies. We will disclose protected health information as needed to comply with state law requiring reports of suspicion of child/adult/elderly neglect, abuse, or abandonment. If a client reports or indicates that he or she 1) is abusing a child or vulnerable adult; 2) has abused a child or vulnerable adult; and/or 3) is in danger of being abused, our health care professionals are required to report this information to the Department of Children and Families and/or legal authorities, as needed. If a client is the victim of neglect, abuse, violence or crime, we are required to share this information with law enforcement officials to prevent future occurrences and to capture the perpetrator.

Disclosures to comply with our legal Duty to Warn and Protect. If you disclose intentions or a clear plan to cause harm to another person or persons, our health care professionals are required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. If you disclose intentions or plans to attempt suicide, our health care professionals are required to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify your closest family members.

In the event of a Client’s death. If a client dies, their legal guardian or spouse has a right to access their protected health information.

Other disclosures without written permission. There are other circumstances in which we may be required by law to disclose protected health information without your permission. They include disclosures made:

  • Pursuant to court order;
  • To public health authorities;
  • To law enforcement officials in some circumstances;
  • To correctional institutions regarding inmates;
  • To federal officials for lawful military or intelligence activities; and
  • As otherwise required by

Disclosure with your permission. No other disclosure of protected health information will be made unless you give Written Authorization for us to communicate with a specific individual/entity for a specified purpose.

 
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

Right to request confidential communications. You may request in writing that communications to you, such as appointment reminders or service invoices (if applicable), be made in a confidential manner. We will accommodate any such request, as long as you provide a means for us to process payment transactions (if applicable).

Right to request restrictions on use and disclosure of your information. You have the right to request restrictions on our use of your protected health information for particular purposes, or our disclosure of that information to certain third parties. We are not obligated to agree to a requested restriction, but we will consider your request.

Right to revoke a Consent or Authorization. You may revoke a written Consent or Authorization for us to use or disclose your protected health information. The revocation will not affect any previous use or disclosure of your information.

Right to Acknowledgment for Advance Directives. You have been given verbal information about your right to accept or refuse medical treatment. You have been informed of your right to formulate Advance Directives, including a Directive to Physicians (Living Will) and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (Designation of a Health Care Agent).

Right to review and copy record. You have the right to see records used to make decisions about you. The request must be made in writing. We will comply within the legal timeframe and allow you to review your record unless a supervisor determines it would create a substantial risk of physical or psychological harm to you or someone else. If another person provided information about you to our professional staff in confidence, that information may be removed from the record before it is shared with you. We will also remove any protected health information about other people. At your request, we will make a copy of your record for you. We will charge a reasonable fee for this service.

Right to “amend” record. If you believe your record contains an error, you may ask us in writing to amend it. If there is a mistake, a note will be entered in the record to correct the error. If not, you will be informed and allowed the opportunity to add a short statement to the record explaining why you believe the record is inaccurate. This information will be included as part of the total record and shared with others if it might affect decisions they make about you.

Right to an accounting. You have the right to an accounting of some disclosures of your protected health information to third parties. This does not include disclosures that you authorize, or disclosures that occur in the context of service provision/coordination, payment, or health care operations. If requested by law enforcement authorities that are conducting a criminal investigation, we will suspend accounting of disclosures made to them.

Right to a paper copy of this Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of any Notice of Privacy Practices provided at Behavioral Aid Solutions.

How to Exercise Your Rights. Questions about our policies and procedures, request to exercise individual rights, and complaints should be directed to our Medical Records Custodian, who can be reached at (786) 762-2952.

Personal representatives. A “personal representative” of a client may act on their behalf in exercising their privacy rights. This includes the legal guardian of the client. If an adult is incapable of acting on his or her own behalf, the personal representative would ordinarily be his or her spouse or another member of the immediate family. An individual can also grant another person the right to act as his or her personal representative in an advance directive or living will. Behavioral Aid Solutions may choose not to disclose your protected health information to your personal representative if we have reason to believe that this person may harm you, as in cases of domestic violence, abuse or neglect.

Complaints. If you have any complaints or concerns about our privacy policies or practices, please submit a written complaint to our Medical Records Custodian. If you wish, the Medical Records Custodian will give you a form that you can use to submit a Complaint.

You can also submit a complaint to the United States Department of Health and Human Services by writing to:

Office for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 368-1019
TDD Toll-Free: 1 (800) 537-7697

We will never retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

 

Effective Date

These policies and procedures were approved on January 3, 2011. They are effective as of January 3, 2011.