Information regarding patients’ health care, including payment for health care, is protected by two federal laws: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA”), 42 U.S.C. &1320d et seg., 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, THE MEND may not say to a person outside of the THE MEND that any patient attends the program, nor may THE MEND disclose any information except as permitted by federal law.
THE MEND must obtain each patient’s written consent before it can disclose information about the patient for payment process. For example, THE MEND must obtain a patient’s written consent before it can disclose information to a health insurer in order to be paid for services. Generally, patients must also sign a written consent before THE MEND can share information for treatment purposes or for health care operations. However, federal law permits THE MEND to disclose information without the patient’s written permission:
- Pursuant to an agreement with a Qualified Service Organization
- For research, audit or evaluation;
- To report a crime committed on THE MEND’s premises or against THE MEND personnel;
- To medical personnel in a medical emergency
- To appropriate authorities to report suspected child/elder abuse or neglect;
- As allowed by a court order.
For example, THE MEND can disclose information without a patient’s consent to obtain legal or financial services, or to another medical facility to provide health care to you, as long as there is a Qualified Service Organization Agreement in place.
Before THE MEND can use or disclose any information about a patient’s health in a manner which is not described above, it must obtain the patient’s specific written consent allowing it to make the disclosure. Any such written consent may be revoked by the patient in writing.
Under HIPAA patients have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of their health information. THE MEND is not required to agree to any restrictions requested by a patient, but if it does agree then it is bound by that agreement and may not use or disclose any information which the patient has restricted except as necessary in a medical emergency. The patient has the right to request that we communicate with the patient by alternative means or at an alternative location. THE MEND will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation. Under HIPAA patients also have the right to inspect and copy their own health information maintained by THE MEND, except to the extent that the information contains psychotherapy notes or information compiled for use in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings or in any limited circumstances. Under HIPAA patients also have the right, with some explanations, to amend health care information maintained by THE MEND records, and to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of the patient’s health-related information made by THE MEND during the six years prior to the request. Patients also have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice.
THE MEND Duties:
THE MEND is required by law to maintain the privacy of the patient’s health information and to provide the patient with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the patient’s health information. THE MEND is required by law to abide by the terms of this notice. THE MEND reserves the right to change the terms of this notice and to make a new notice provisions effective for all protected health information it maintains.
Complaints and Reporting Violations:
Violation of the Confidentiality Law by a program and crime. Suspected violations of the Confidentiality Law may be reported to the United States Attorney in the district where the violation occurs.
You may complain to THE MEND and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated have been violated under HIPAA. You will not be retaliated against for filing such a complaint.
For more information, contact Sandie@TheMendCalifornia.com.
We strive to provide professional, timely, effective and individualized interventions to assist our clients. We value each client’s potential and we work hard to help our clients recognize and identify their own potential to assist them in a successful path to recovery. We understand that clients are in treatment to learn how to live their lives effectively and we do not expect them to have all the answers. We recognize relapse can be a part of recovery. We understand and accept that a critical element of treatment is educating the client in making effective and productive choices/changes, which is accomplished by focusing on positive rather than negative actions, attitudes, and behaviors.
The Mend – 1909 W Carlton Pl, Santa Ana CA 92704
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