HIPPA Notice of Private 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 

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Privacy Officer of our office at 408-846-4770, or 9015 Murray Ave, #100, Gilroy, CA  95020 or via email at cs@communitysolutions.org

WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE

This notice describes the privacy practices followed by our employees, staff and other office personnel. The practices described in this notice will also be followed by health care providers you consult with by telephone (when your regular health care provider from our office is not available) who provide “call coverage” for your health care provider.

YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

This notice applies to the information and records we have about your health, health status, and the health care and services you receive at Community Solutions.

We are required by law to give you this notice. It will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you and describes your rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of that information.

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

For Treatment

We will use and disclosure your health information without your authorization to provide your health care and any related services.  We will also use and disclose your health information to coordinate and manage your health care and related services.  For example, we may need to disclose information to a case manager who is responsible for coordinating your care.

We may also disclose your health information among our clinicians and other staff (including clinicians other than your therapist or principal clinician), who work at Community Solutions.  For example, our staff may discuss your care at a case conference.

In addition, we may disclose your health information without your authorization to another health care provider (e.g., your primary care physician or a laboratory) working outside of Community Solutions for purposes of your treatment.

For Payment

We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at this office may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about a service you received here so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the service. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval, or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.

For example, your health plan may ask us to share your health information in order to determine if the plan will approve additional visits to your therapist.  We may also disclose your health information to another health care provider so that provider can bill you for services they provided to you, for example an ambulance service that transported you to the hospital.

For Health Care Operations

We may use and disclose health information about you in order to run the office and make sure that you and our other  clients receive quality care. For example, we may use your health information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also use health information about all or many of our clients to help us decide what additional services we should offer, how we can become more efficient, or whether certain new treatments are effective.

Appointment Reminders

We may contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at the office.

Health‑Related Products and Services

We may tell you about health‑related products or services that may be of interest to you.

Please notify us if you do not wish to be contacted for appointment reminders, or if you do not wish to receive communications about treatment alternatives or health‑related products and services. If you advise us in writing (at the address listed at the top of this Notice) that you do not wish to receive such communications, we will not use or disclose your information for these purposes.

You may revoke your Consent at any time by giving us written notice. Your revocation will be effective when we receive it, but it will not apply to any uses and disclosures which occurred before that time.

If you do revoke your Consent, we will not be permitted to use or disclose information for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, and we may therefore choose to discontinue providing you with health care treatment and services.

SPECIAL SITUATIONS

We may use or disclose health information about you without your permission for the following purposes, subject to all applicable legal requirements and limitations:

To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety

We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.

Required By Law

We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.

Research

We may use and disclose health information about you for research projects that are subject to a special approval process. We will ask you for your permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at the office.

Organ and Tissue Donation

If you are an organ donor, we may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate such donation and transplantation.

Military, Veterans, National Security and Intelligence

If you are or were a member of the armed forces, or part of the national security or intelligence communities, we may be required by military command or other government authorities to release health information about you. We may also release information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

Workers’ Compensation

We may release health information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work‑related injuries or illness.

Public Health Risks

We may disclose health information about you for public health reasons in order to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; or report births, deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, non‑accidental physical injuries, reactions to medications or problems with products.

Health Oversight Activities

We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for audits, investigations, inspections, or licensing purposes. These disclosures may be necessary for certain state and federal agencies to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.

Lawsuits and Disputes

If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in response to a court or administrative order. Subject to all applicable legal requirements, we may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena.

Law Enforcement

We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process, subject to all applicable legal requirements.

Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors

We may release health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death.

Information Not Personally Identifiable

We may use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are.

Persons Involved in Your Care

We may provide health information about you to someone who helps pay for your care.  We may use or disclose your health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location, general condition or death.  We may also use or disclose your health information to an entity assisting in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate uses and disclosures for this purpose to family or other individuals involved in your health care.

In limited circumstances, we may disclose health information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your care.  If you are physically present and have the capacity to make health care decisions, your health information may only be disclosed with your agreement to persons you designate to be involved in your care.

But, if you are in an emergency situation, we may disclose your health information to a spouse, a family member, or a friend so that such person may assist in your care. In this case we will determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest and, if so, only disclose information that is directly relevant to participation in your care.

And, if you are not in an emergency situation but are unable to make health care decisions, we will disclose your health information to:

  • a person designated to participate in your care in accordance with an advance directive validly executed under state law,
  • your guardian if one has been appointed by a court, or
  • if applicable, the state agency responsible for consenting to your care.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION

We will not use or disclose your health information for any purpose other than those identified in the previous sections without your specific, written Authorization. We must obtain your Authorization separate from any Consent we may have obtained from you. If you give us Authorization to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that Authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your Authorization, we will no longer use or disclose information about you for the reasons covered by your written Authorization, but we cannot take back any uses or disclosures already made with your permission.

If we have HIV or substance abuse information about you, we cannot release that information without a special signed, written authorization (different than the Authorization and Consent mentioned above) from you. In order to disclose these types of records for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, we will have to have both your signed Consent and a special written Authorization that complies with the law governing HIV or substance abuse records.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

You have the following rights regarding health information we maintain about you:

Right to Inspect and Copy

You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, such as medical and billing records, that we use to make decisions about your care. You must submit a written request to the privacy officer in order to inspect and/or copy your health information. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other associated supplies. We may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied access to your health information, you may ask that the denial be reviewed. If such a review is required by law, we will select a licensed health care professional to review your request and our denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.

Right to Amend

If you believe health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment as long as the information is kept by this office.

To request an amendment, complete and submit a Medical Record Amendment/Correction Form to the privacy officer. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:

  • We did not create, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
  • Is not part of the health information that we keep.
  • You would not be permitted to inspect and copy.
  • Is accurate and complete.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures

You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you for purposes other than treatment, payment and health care operations. To obtain this list, you must submit your request in writing to the privacy officer. It must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper, electronically). We may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred. 

Right to Request Restrictions

You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for it, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had.

We Are Not Required to Agree to Your Request

If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.

To request restrictions, you may complete and submit a Client Restriction on the Uses and Disclosures of PHI for Treatment, Payment or Operations form to the privacy officer.

Right to Request Confidential Communications

You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.

To request confidential communications, you may complete and submit the Client Restriction on the Uses and Disclosures of PHI for Treatment, Payment or Operations to the privacy officer. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice

You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive it electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy. To obtain such a copy, contact the privacy officer.

Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Records

For individuals who have received treatment, diagnosis or referral for treatment from our drug or alcohol abuse programs, the confidentiality of drug or alcohol abuse records is protected by federal law and regulations.  As a general rule, we may not tell a person outside the programs that you attend any of these programs, or disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser, unless:

  • you authorize the disclosure in writing; or
  • the disclosure is permitted by a court order; or
  • the disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit or program evaluation purposes; or
  • you threaten to commit a crime either at the drug abuse or alcohol program or against any person who works for our drug abuse or alcohol programs.

A violation by us of the federal law and regulations governing drug or alcohol abuse is a crime.  Suspected violations may be reported to the Unites States Attorney in the district where the violation occurs.

Federal law and regulations governing confidentiality of drug or alcohol abuse permit us to report suspected child abuse or neglect under state law to appropriate state or local authorities.

Please see 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2 for federal law and 42 C.F.R., Part 2 for federal regulations governing confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records.

CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE

We reserve the right to change this notice, and to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a summary of the current notice in the office with its effective date in the top right hand corner. You are entitled to a copy of the notice currently in effect.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our office, contact the Privacy officer of our office at 408-846-4770, or 9015 Murray Ave, #100, Gilroy, CA  95020 or via email at cs@communitysolutions.org.

You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

 

I don’t know where I’d be without the help of Community Solutions. It provides me with stability. It means having support and people who believe in me. [Today] I am going to school. I am respecting myself. I am appreciating myself more.

Melanie, age 19, FSP-TAY Program

I no longer feel alone. I know I have an entire community that is ready to support me if I need it in the future.

Marta, age 40, Solutions to Violence

There's a lot of good things happening here. And I'm living proof of that. Change is possible.

John, age 49, FSP Criminal Justice Services Program

My grandson and my entire family would not have made it through this trying time without you. We were so lost and you helped us through.

Gloria, age 50, FIRST 5
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