Notice of Privacy Practices
The Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board’s client Notice of Privacy Practices is provided below. A printer friendly copy can also be downloaded here [link to PDF copy of Notice of Privacy Practices]
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board
2350 Auburn Ave., Cincinnati, Oh 45219
P: (513) 946-8600, F: (513) 946-8610, TTY: (513) 946-8690
This notice describes how information of clients of contract agencies of the Board may be used and disclosed and how clients can access this information.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Privacy Officer at the above address.
WHY THE BOARD COLLECTS PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
The Board collects personal information to:
- Determine eligibility for health care coverage that pays some or all of the cost of services you receive
- Provide benefits and pay claims
- Conduct service evaluation
- Manage Board business
- Provide other information for planning and improving mental health services in the community
- Protect the safety of members.
The Board may also be required to collect and keep certain information to meet legal and regulatory requirements. This information is kept after a client’s health care coverage ends.
PERSONAL INFORMATION COLLECTED
People seeking benefits are asked to provide certain information when completing a form for enrollment in Board benefit plans. This information may include, for example:
- Name, address, phone number
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Social Security Number
- Family income.
The Board may also receive personal information about you from others, such as:
- Health care providers (doctors, clinics, hospitals)
- Other community mental health or ADAMH boards that provide coverage to our clients;
- Business partners (companies with whom the Board has arrangements to assist in providing products and services)
- Other government agencies (courts, child welfare, juvenile justice, law enforcement, etc.)
The information collected from others may include, for example, eligibility, claims and payment information.
THE BOARD’S DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
We are required by law to:
- Protect the privacy of your health information.
- Provide you with this notice of our legal duty and our privacy practices.
- Follow the practices described in this notice.
This notice describes the ways we may use and disclose information about your health to carry out our treatment, payment, and health care operations, and for other purposes as permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights and our duties regarding our records or information about your health.
Payment: We keep records that include payment information and documentation of the services provided to you. Your information may be used to obtain payment for your services from outside sources. For example, we may disclose personal information about the services provided to determine your eligibility for publicly funded services. This enables us to administer eligibility, enrollment, billing, and payment for your health care services.
Health Care Operations: We use personal information to train staff, manage costs, conduct required business duties, and make plans to better serve you and other community residents who may need mental health or substance abuse services. The Board exchanges operational information with organizations that provide mental health services to you. We may share health information with our contract service providers to resolve your complaints, grievances, or customer service issues.
SHARING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
We may, and in some cases are required, to share your personal information without your signed authorization. These instances are as follows:
- Review and evaluate the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of services you have received
- Conduct program and fiscal audits of providers from which you have received services
- Carry out audits, inspections, advocacy, or other monitoring activities related to our legal responsibility toward our contracted service providers
- Investigate major unusual incidents, report these kinds of incidents and take steps to protect your or others’ health and safety
- Prepare reports required by the Ohio Department of Mental Health, the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the County Probate Court
- Protect you or victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence
- Reduce or prevent a serious threat to public health and safety
- Conduct health oversight activities such as investigations, audits and inspections
- Report to state or federal agencies that oversee or monitor Board operations
- Respond to lawsuits and similar proceedings
- Report for public health purposes dangerous mental conditions, communicable diseases and other diseases and injuries as permitted or required by law
- Report AOD health information relating to suspected serious criminal activity in response to a court order.
- Disclose MH information related to suspected criminal activity at the request of a law enforcement official.
- Disclose information about your health to law enforcement for the safety of you or others
- Report to coroners and medical examiners
- Contribute to specialized government functions such as intelligence and national security
- For organ and tissue donation
- For workers’ compensation or other similar programs if you are injured at work and are covered by workers’ compensation or other similar programs
- For Board operations we may use Business Associate Agreements/Qualified Service Organization contracts.
We may disclose a limited amount of your health information directly related to your care, if we inform you in advance and you do not object:
to family, friends, or those involved with your care about their direct involvement in your care or payment for your care following previously expressed wishes, or if it is an emergency and you cannot be given a chance to object to disclosure of information before treatment is given to family, friends, or those involved with your care about your location, general condition, or death.
SAFEGUARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
In order to protect your health information against unauthorized use or disclosure, the Board maintains a variety of physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulation. Any third party processor or consultant used by the Board has signed an agreement requiring it to maintain the confidentiality of your personal information. The Board also restricts access to your personal information to those employees who need to know the information in order to perform their job duties. The Board maintains policies and procedures that prohibit employees and agents of the Board from improperly using, disclosing, transferring, providing access to or otherwise divulging your health information.
INDIVIDUAL CLIENT RIGHTS
You have the following rights regarding the health information the Board maintains about you:
- *Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information the Board uses or discloses about you for payment or health care operations. The Board will carefully consider all requests for a restriction but is not required to agree to any requested restrictions.
- *Right to Limits on Communications. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information disclosed about you to a family member who is involved in your care if you are receiving mental health services and have previously agreed to limited disclosure to such a family member. The Board will comply with any such restrictions you request regarding disclosure to a family member.
- Request that we use specific telephone number or address to communicate with you.
- *Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to request access to the personal information the Board collects about you. Under certain circumstances, the Board may not share collected information, for example, if the information is the subject of a lawsuit or legal claim, or if release of your personal health information may present a danger to you or someone else. Reasonable fees may apply to copied information.
- *Right to Request Amendment of your Information. If you believe that there is a mistake or missing information in our records, you may request, in writing, that we correct or add to the record. We will respond within 60 days of receiving your request. We may deny the request if we find that the information:
- is correct and complete;
- was not created by us;
- is not part of the information about your health that we keep; or
- is not part of the information about your health that you would be allowed to inspect and copy.
If we deny your request to amend the information we have about your health, we will tell you in writing what the reasons are. You have the right for your request, our denial, and any statement in response that you provide to be added to your records.
If we approve the request for amendment, we will change the information and inform you of the change. We will also tell others that need to know about the change in your information.
- * Right to Request an Accounting of Certain Disclosures of your Personal Information by Us. Your request must state the period of time desired for the accounting, which must be within the six years prior to your request. Under certain circumstances, we may not share information that we collected, for example, if the information is the subject of a lawsuit or legal claim or if release of the information may present a danger to you or someone else. The first accounting is free, but a fee will apply if more than one request is made in a 12-month period.
- Right to a Paper Copy of Notice
You have the right to a paper copy of this notice at any time and can obtain a copy by contacting the Board office (see the first page of this document).
Requests marked with a star (*) must be made in writing. Contact the Board Privacy Officer with your request.
TO FILE A COMPLAINT
With the Board
We will take no retaliation against you if you make a complaint. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated by the Board, you may file a written complaint with the Privacy Officer at the Board (see first page for contact information).
With the Office for Civil Rights
Region V Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
223 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 240
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 866-2359 TDD: (312) 353-5693
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
The Board reserves the right to change this notice at any time and to make the changed notice effective for health information about you that is already on file as well as any information received in the future. The effective date of the notice will always be displayed at the top of the first page. In addition, each time there is a change in the notice, the Board will mail a copy to you at the address shown in the Board’s records.