Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.
This notice describes how your behavioral health information may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
Effective date: September 18, 2013
You have the right to:
- Get a copy of your behavioral health records
- Request confidential communication
- Ask us to limit the information we share
- Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared your information
- Get a copy of this privacy notice
- Choose someone to act for you
- 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
- Provide further care
Our Uses and Disclosures
We may use and share your information as we:
- Treat you
- Run our organization
- Bill for your services
- Help with public health and safety issues
- Do research
- Comply with the law
- Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
- Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
When it comes to your behavioral health information, you have certain rights.
This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.
Get an electronic or paper copy of your behavioral health record
Ask us to correct your behavioral health record
- You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your behavioral health records. Ask us how to do this.
- We will provide a copy or a report of your behavioral health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
Request confidential communications
- You can ask us to correct behavioral health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
- We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days.
Ask us to limit what we use or share
- You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
- We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.
Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information
- You can ask us not to use or share certain behavioral health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
- If you pay for a service or behavioral health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your behavioral health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
Get a copy of this privacy notice
- You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
- We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and behavioral health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
Choose someone to act for you
File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated
- If you have given someone power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your behavioral health information.
- We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
- You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information on page 1.
- You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
- We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
For certain behavioral health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share.
If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
- Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
- Share information in a disaster relief situation
In the case of fundraising:
- Marketing purposes
- Sale of your information
- Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again
Our Uses and Disclosures
How do we typically use or share your behavioral health information?
We typically use or share your behavioral health information in the following ways.
We can use your behavioral health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
Example: A psychiatrist may be treating you for a behavioral illness and we will work closely with him or her to keep each other current on your overall behavioral health condition.
Run our organization
We can use and share your behavioral health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
Example: We use behavioral health information about you to manage your treatment and services.
Bill for your services
We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from behavioral health plans or other entities.
Example: We give information about you to your behavioral health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.
How else can we use or share your health information?
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public behavioral health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.
Help with public behavioral health and safety issues
We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
- Reporting adverse reactions to medications
- Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
- Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety
We can use or share your information for behavioral health research.
Comply with the law
We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations
Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
We can use or share behavioral health information about you:
Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
- For workers’ compensation claims
- For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
- With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
- For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services
We can share behavioral health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected behavioral health information.
- We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- 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.
For more information see:
Changes to the Terms of this Notice
We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site.