HIPAA Client Privacy Notice
River Region Human Services, Inc. is committed to providing you with quality behavioral healthcare services. An important part of that commitment is protecting your health information according to applicable law. This notice describes how medical, mental health, drug, and alcohol related information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. If you have any questions, please ask your counselor or the agency privacy officer.
Information regarding your health care, including payment for healthcare, is protected by two federal laws: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), 42 U.S.C. 1320d et.seq., 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 & 164, and the Confidentiality Law, 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2, 42 C.F.R., Part 2. Under these laws, River Region Human Services, Inc. (River Region) may not say to a person outside River Region that you attend the program, nor may River Region disclose any information identifying you as a River Region client, or disclose any other protected information except as permitted by federal law.
Protected Health Information (PHI) is information that would enable a person reading or hearing it to identify you individually, referred to as “individually identifiable health information”, that relates to:
- your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition;
- the provision of health care to you;
- the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care or services to you; or
- your Genetic information.
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information (PHI).
- We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your PHI.
- We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this Notice and give you a copy of it.
- We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
OUR USES AND DISCLOUSERS
River Region uses your information in the following ways:
- Treatment and services provided to you.
- Run our organization
- Bill for services
- Work with our contracted Business Associates and subcontractors
- Help with public health and/or public safety issues
- Do research
- Comply with the law
- Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
- Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
- Address workers’ compensation, health oversight agencies, law enforcement, and other government requests
- Government agencies providing benefits or services
River Region must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information about you for payment purposes. For example, River Region must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information to your health insurer in order to be paid for services. Generally, you must also sign a written consent before River Region can share information. However, federal law permits River Region to disclose information without your written permission:
- For internal disclosures (disclosures within River Region);
- With a qualified service organization or business associate;
- For research, audit or evaluations;
- To report a crime committed on River Region premises or against River Region personnel;
- To medical personnel in a medical emergency;
- To appropriate authorities to report suspected abuse and/or neglect of a child or person unable to take care of themselves;
- As allowed by a court order;
- To report communicable disease;
- When there is a threat to harm self and/or others.
For example, River Region can disclose information without your consent to obtain legal or financial services, or to another medical facility to provide healthcare to you, as long as there is a qualified service organization/business associate agreement in place. Before River Region can use or disclose any information about your health in a manner that is not described above, it must first obtain your specific written consent allowing it to make the disclosure. Any such written consent may be revoked by you in writing.
When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights:
- Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your PHI
- Get a copy of your paper or electronic medical record
- Ask us to correct your paper or electronic medical record
- Request confidential communication
- Ask us to limit the information we share
- Choose someone to act for you
- Receive breach notifications
- Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared your information
- Get a copy of this Privacy Notice
- File a complaint if you believe your Privacy Rights have been violated
You have some choices in the way that we use and share information as we:
- Tell family and friends about your condition
- Provide disaster relief
- Include you in a directory (if applicable)
- Provide mental health care
- Market our service and sell your information
- Raise Funds
Under HIPAA, you have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information (45 CFR 164.520(b)(1)(iv)(A)). River Region is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but if it does agree then it is bound by that agreement and may not use or disclose any information which you have restricted except as necessary in a medical emergency (45 CFR 164.522(a) and (45 CFR 164.522(a)). To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to your primary counselor or agency privacy officer. In your request, you must tell River Region:
- What information you want to limit;
- Whether you want to limit use, disclosure, or both;
- To whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse.
You have the right to request that we communicate with you by alternative means or at an alternative location. River Region will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation from you. Under HIPAA, you also have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your own health information maintained by River Region, except to the extent that the information contains psychotherapy notes or information compiled for use in a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding or in other limited circumstances. A reasonable fee may be charged for copies.
Under HIPAA, you also have the right, with some exceptions, to amend healthcare information maintained in River Region’s records, and to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your health related information made by River Region during the six years prior to your request. You also have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice. This Notice of Privacy Practices will remain in effect until it is revised. We are required to modify this Notice of Privacy Practices when there are material changes to your rights, our duties, or other practices contained herein. Notification of revisions to this Notice of Privacy Practice will be provided via our website and posted in our service sites. This notice is available on our website www.rrhs.org.
Delivery of your health care services is not conditioned upon your signature. If you decline to provide a signed acknowledgement, we will continue to provide treatment to you, and will use and disclose your protected health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations as necessary and described in this Notice of Privacy Practices.
RIVER REGION’S DUTIES
River Region is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information. River Region is required by law to abide by the terms of this notice. River Region reserves the right to change the terms of this notice and to make new notice provisions effective for all protected health information it maintains. In the event of such a change, you will be asked to sign a new Privacy Notice containing these changes.
COMPLAINTS AND REPORTING VIOLATIONS
You may complain to River Region, the Department of Children and Services, and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated under HIPAA. Within River Region you may file a written complaint with the agency Privacy Officer. You will not be retaliated against for filing such a complaint. Violation of the Confidentiality Law by a program is a crime. Suspected violations of the Confidentiality Law may be reported to the United States Attorney in the district where the violation occurs.
For further information, contact:
- Your primary counselor or case manager;
- RRHS Privacy Officer at 899-6300 ext. 4101.
- Department of Children and Families at (850) 487-1901
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at (877) 696-6775
Effective October 2016