CLIENT NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
This Notice describes the privacy practices of St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers, which includes facilities located in Saranac Lake, Malone, Massena, Lake Placid, Keeseville, Elizabethtown, Ticonderoga, Schenectady and Poughkeepsie, New York. The term “St. Joseph’s” refers to all of these facilities, both individually and collectively. This Notice describes how medical and alcohol and drug use related information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
St. Joseph’s understands that your medical and alcohol and drug use information is personal. Protecting your health information is important to us. It is the policy of St. Joseph’s to maintain the strict trust and confidentiality of the client/counselor relationship. This trust and confidentiality refer to your anonymity, the secure protection of all written information provided by or about you, the use of all written and learned information about you solely for constructive, productive treatment oriented purposes; and release or sharing of information only with your written consent or as otherwise permitted by Law. It is part of our Code of Ethics and we follow strict federal and state laws that require us to maintain the confidentiality of your protected health information. “Protected health information” (PHI) means any information that we create or receive that identifies you and relates to your health or payment for services provided to you. We use your PHI (and allow others to access it) only as permitted by federal and state laws. These laws give you certain rights regarding your health information.
HOW WE USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
Generally St. Joseph’s may not say to a person outside St. Joseph’s that you attend the program, nor may St. Joseph’s disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser, or disclose any other protected information except as permitted by federal or state law as described below.
St. Joseph’s must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information about you for payment purposes. For example, St. Joseph’s 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 St. Joseph’s can share information for treatment purposes or for health care operations. However, federal law permits St. Joseph’s to disclose information wwiitthhoouutt your written permission under limited circumstances:
- 1. Pursuant to an agreement with a business associate/qualified service organization agreement (BA/QSO). Once St. Joseph’s and the outside agency have entered an agreement of this kind, we may freely communicate information from your records to the “BA/QSO,” but only that information needed by the organization in order to provide services to you or St. Joseph’s. (Examples: St. Joseph’s attorneys, Data Processing, Pharmacies, Hospitals);
- 2. For research, audit or program evaluations;
- 3. To report a crime committed by a client on St. Joseph’s premises or against St. Joseph’s personnel; or about any threat to commit such a crime.
- 4. To medical personnel in a medical emergency or psychiatric emergency (staff reasonably believes the you present a serious danger of violence to self or another person)
- 5. To appropriate authorities to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child or adult dependent person. Nothing in this notice will limit St. Joseph’s responsibility or authority to report, investigate, or re-disclose, child protective and adult protective services information.
- 6. As allowed by a court order.
- 7. Internal communications. St. Joseph’s staff may share information if the recipient needs the information to perform their duties for St. Joseph’s. However, this is limited to the minimum necessary information to accomplish the need or purpose.
June 30, 2015
YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
Under HIPAA you have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. We are required to comply with a request that we not disclose your health information to a health plan for payment or health care operations purposes, if the health information pertains to a health care item or service for which we have been involved and you have paid for the item or service in full out-of-pocket. For all other requests, St. Joseph’s 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.
You have the right to request that we communicate with you by alternative means or at an alternative location. St. Joseph’s will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation from you. Under HIPAA you have the right to inspect and copy your own health information maintained by St. Joseph’s 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.
You have the right to opt-out of receiving fundraising communications from us at any time. Any fundraising communication sent to you will let you know how you can opt-out of receiving similar communications in the future. Your treatment or payment will not be conditioned on your choice with respect to the receipt of fundraising communications.
Under HIPAA you also have the right, with some exceptions, to amend health care information maintained in St. Joseph’s records, and to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your health related information made by St. Joseph’s during the six years prior to your request. You also have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice.
OUR PRIVACY RESPONSIBILITIES
St. Joseph’s is required by law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA,” as amended from time-to-time, and its implementing regulations) and the regulations contained in 42 C.F.R. Part 2 related to Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, to:
- Maintain the privacy of your health information.
- Provide this notice that describes the ways we ma y use and share your health information.
- Notify you if your health information was affected by a breach.
- Follow the terms of the notice currently in effect.
You may revoke your authorization to share your health information at any time by notifying St. Joseph’s in writing. Please understand that we can not get back health information that was shared before you revoked the authorization.
We ma y change this privacy notice at any time and we may use new ways to protect your health information. Our current privacy notice is posted at each site we provide care and on our website at www.stjoestreatment.org. You may obtain a copy from our website or by calling us at 518-891-3950 Ext. 243 and requesting that a copy be sent to you in the mail or by asking for one anytime you are at one of our offices.
COMPLAINTS AND REPORTING VIOLATIONS
Violation of the alcohol and drug abuse patient record confidentiality regulations contained in 42 C.F.R Part 2 is a crime and suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with such regulations.
You have the right to communicate concerns or complaints if you feel your privacy and/or confidentiality rights have been violated, without fear of prejudice or penalty. For further information about your privacy and confidentiality rights, or if you are concerned that your privacy rights have been violated, or if you have concerns about our breach notification process, please contact St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers Privacy Officer at 518-891-3950 Ext. 1243.
You can also submit a complaint to NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Patient Advocacy 1-800-553-5790 or Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, D.C. 20201.
To obtain a copy of the Complaint Procedure and necessary forms you should contact your Primary Counselor or Clinical Supervisor.