HIPAA Privacy Info

 

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.

Effective date: April 14, 2003
If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice, please contact our Privacy Officer at (206) 883-2051.

  1. Introduction: This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how Transitional Resources may use and disclose your protected health information and your rights regarding that information. “Protected Health Information” includes information we have created or received regarding your past or present physical or mental health, the provision of your health care, and payment for your health care. It includes personal information such as your name, social security number, address, and phone number.Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Transitional Resources is required to maintain the privacy of your protected health information, provide you with this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information, and comply with the practices and procedures set forth in this Notice.
  2. How we may use and disclose your health information WITHOUT your authorization.
    1. Uses and Disclosures for Treatment, Payment and Operations
      1. For Treatment.We may use and disclose health information without your authorization:
        1. To your care coordinator, therapist, psychiatrist or nurse to provide your health care and any related services.
        2. To other internal departments in order to coordinate and manage your health care and related services. For example, we may need to disclose information in order to coordinate prescriptions, lab work, or to make recommendations such as chemical dependency treatment.
        3. To other clinical staff who work at Transitional Resources, such as when we consult about your care.
        4. To another health care provider working outside of Transitional Resources for the purposes of coordinating treatment or sharing information that will help your care, such as to your primary care physician or to a laboratory.
      2. For Payment. We may use or disclose health information without authorization so that the treatment and services you receive are billed to, and payment is collected from, Medicaid or Medicare, your health insurance plan, or other payers. For example, we may disclose your health information to permit your insurance company, Medicare, or the King County Mental Health Plan (which administers benefits to Medicaid individuals):
        1. To determine your eligibility for services,
        2. To review services to assure they were medically necessary were appropriate for your care.
      3. For Health Care Operations. We may use or disclose health information without your authorization:
        1. To run our organization and make sure that our consumers and patients receive quality care. Activities may include: quality assessment and improvement, reviewing the performance or qualifications of our clinicians, training students in clinical activities, licensing, accreditation, business planning and development, and general administrative activities.
        2. In combination with information about other clients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are no longer needed, and whether certain treatments are effective.
        3. To other health care providers, State or County funding sources, or to your health insurance plan to assist them in performing certain of their own health care operations. We will do so only if you have or have had a relationship with the other provider or health plan. For example, we may provide information to your health plan to assist them in their quality assurance activities.
    2. Other circumstances in which we may disclose your information without your consent:
      1. Emergencies. To assure good care in case of emergencies. For example, we may provide health information to a paramedic who is transporting you in an ambulance.
      2. Legal Guardian. To your guardian or other fiduciary if one has been appointed by a court.
      3. Research. We may disclose health information to researchers when their research has been approved by a privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to protect the privacy of your health information.
      4. As Required By Law. We will disclose health information when required to do so by other federal, state or local laws not listed here, such as the Workers’ Compensation Law.
      5. To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose health information when necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health or safety of the public or another person.
      6. Public Health Activities. We may use and disclose information about you when necessary for public health activities, to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability, or reporting to the Food and Drug Administration for investigating or tracking problems with prescription drugs.
      7. Abuse or Neglect. To government entities authorized to receive reports regarding abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
      8. Health Oversight Activities. To a health oversight agencies for activities such as audits, examinations, investigations, inspections and licensures. Oversight agencies include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, other government programs regulating health care, and civil rights laws.
      9. Disclosures in Legal Proceedings. To a court or administrative agency when a judge or administrative agency orders us to do so, or when we receive a subpoena or discovery request. We will not provide this information in response to a subpoena without your authorization if the request is for records of a federally-assisted substance abuse program;
      10. Law Enforcement Activities. To law enforcement officials for law enforcement purposes. For example, to identify or locate a suspect, witness or missing person; to report a crime, or to provide information concerning victims of crimes.
      11. Department of Corrections. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a State of Washington Department of Corrections parole/probation officer, we may disclose information to the correctional institution or parole/probation officer.
      12. Medical Examiners. We may provide health information to a medical examiner who is appointed by law to assist in identifying deceased persons and to determine the cause of death in certain circumstances.
      13. Military and Veterans. If you a member of the armed forces, we may disclose health information as required by military command authorities, to determine your eligibility for benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or to a foreign military authority if you are a member of a foreign military service.
      14. National Security and Protective Services for the President and Others. We may disclose health information to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law, and to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or so they may conduct special investigations.
  3. Uses and Disclosures That May be Made Without Your Authorization, But For Which You Will Have an Opportunity to Object.
    1. Persons Involved in Your Care. We may provide health information about you:
      1. To a person designated to participate in your care in accordance with an advance directive validly executed under state law.
    2. Appointment reminders. We may provide health information to you, to remind you in writing, or by phone/voice mail that you have an appointment with us, unless you specifically ask us to communicate with you through a different method.
  4. Uses and Disclosures of Your Health Information WITH Your Permission. Uses and disclosures not described above will generally only be made with your written permission called an “authorization.” Authorizations are in effect for 90 days. You have the right to revoke an authorization at any time. If you revoke your authorization we will not make further uses or disclosures of your health information under that authorization, unless we have already taken an action relying upon the uses or disclosures you have previously authorized. For example, we will ask for your authorization to release information in the following circumstances.
    1. Schools and teachers when we are coordinating care;
    2. Family members involved in your care. For example, if you are living with a family member it may be beneficial to discuss your care with that person to improve care.
  5. Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Records. For individuals who have received treatment, diagnosis or referral for treatment from 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:
    1. you authorize the disclosure in writing; or
    2. the disclosure is permitted by a court order; or
    3. the disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit or program evaluation purposes; or
    4. 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 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.

  6. Confidentiality of information related to STDs, AIDS, HIV. Information related to testing or treatment of HIV or sexually transmitted diseases is protected by state law (RCW 70.24.105). Generally, we may not disclose a diagnosis or the results of tests or treatment for HIV, AIDS, or sexually transmitted diseases unless you have specifically authorized us to
    1. when exchanging medical information with other health care providers;
    2. for protection of the public health (as stated above),
    3. as required by court order after application showing good cause, or to claims management personnel state-administered health care claims payer, or any other payer of health care claims where such disclosure is to be used solely for the prompt and accurate evaluation and payment of medical or related claims.
  7. Your Rights Regarding Your Health Information. You may exercise the rights described below by putting your request in writing and to the Privacy Officer or by contacting the Privacy Officer.You have the right to:
    1. Inspect and Copy health information used to make decisions about your care – whether they are decisions about your treatment or payment for your care. Usually, this would include clinical and billing records. If you request a copy of the information, your request must be in writing and we may charge a fee for the cost of copying, mailing and supplies associated with your request. We may deny your request to inspect or copy your health information in certain limited circumstances. In some cases, you will have the right to have the denial reviewed by a licensed health care professional not directly involved in the original decision to deny access. We will inform you in writing if the denial of your request may be reviewed. Once the review is completed, we will honor the decision made by the licensed health care professional reviewer.
    2. To Request an Amendment of health information used to make decisions about your care, whether they are decisions about your treatment or payment of your care. Your request must be made in writing and must include why you believe the information is incorrect or inaccurate. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. We may also deny your request if you ask us to amend health information that:
      1. was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the health information is no longer available to make the amendment;
      2. is not part of the health information we maintain to make decisions about your care;
      3. is not part of the health information that you would be permitted to inspect or copy; or
      4. is accurate and complete.
    3. To an Accounting of Disclosures by asking us for a list of the times we have disclosed your health information. This list will not include all disclosures such as those we have made for purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations. The request should state the time period for which you wish to receive an accounting, should not be longer than six years and should not include dates before April 14, 2003. The first accounting you request within a twelve month period will be free. For additional requests during the same 12 month period, we will charge you. You may choose to withdraw or modify your request before we incur any costs.
    4. To Request Restrictions on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. We are not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If we do agree, we will honor your request unless the restricted health information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
    5. To Request Confidential Communications by requesting that we communicate with you about your health care only in a certain location or through a certain method. For example, you may request that we contact you only at work or by e-mail. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. You do not need to give us a reason for the request.
    6. To a Paper Copy of this Notice.
  8. Complaints. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with us, contact our Privacy Officer at 2970 SW Avalon Way, Seattle, WA 98126, phone (206) 883-2051. All complaints must be submitted in writing. Our Privacy Officer will assist you with writing your complaint, if you request such assistance. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
  9. Changes to this Notice. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices. We also reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice of Privacy Practices effective for all health information we already have about you as well as any health information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice of Privacy Practices at our main office and at each site where we provide care. You may also obtain a copy of the current Notice of Privacy Practices by calling the Privacy Officer and requesting that a copy be sent to you or by asking for one any time you are at our offices.