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American Addiction Centers, its facilities and subsidiaries, and all associates are committed to providing you with quality behavioral healthcare services. An important part of that commitment is protecting your health information according to applicable law. This notice (“Notice of Privacy Practices”) describes your rights and our duties under Federal Law. Protected health information (“PHI”) is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition; the provision of healthcare services; or the past, present or future payment for the provision of healthcare services to you.
In addition to the above, we have a duty to respond to your requests (e.g. those corresponding to your rights) in a timely and appropriate manner. We support and value your right to privacy and are committed to maintaining reasonable and appropriate safeguards for your PHI.
(1) You consent in writing (as discussed below in “Authorization to Use or Disclose PHI”):
(2) The disclosure is allowed by a court order (as discussed below in “Uses and Disclosures”); or
(3) The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit, or program evaluation (as discussed below in “Uses and Disclosures”).
Violation of the Federal law and regulations by the treatment center is a crime. Suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with Federal regulations.
Federal law and regulations do not protect any information about a crime committed by you either at the treatment center or against any person who works for the treatment center or about any threat to commit such a crime (as discussed below in “Uses and Disclosures”).
Federal laws and regulations do not protect any information about suspected child abuse or neglect from being reported under State law to appropriate State or local authorities (as discussed below in “Uses and Disclosures”).
See 42 U.S.C. 290dd-3 and 42 U.S.C. 290ee-3 for Federal laws and 42 CFR part 2 for Federal regulations.
Among Treatment Center and American Addiction Centers Personnel. We may use or disclose information between or among personnel having a need for the information in connection with their duties that arise out of the provision of diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment of alcohol or drug abuse, provided such communication is (i) within the treatment center; or (ii) between the treatment center and American Addiction Centers. For example, our staff, including doctors, nurses, and clinicians, will use your PHI to provide your treatment care. Your PHI may be used in connection with billing statements we send you and in connection with tracking charges and credits to your account. Your PHI will be used to check for eligibility for insurance coverage and prepare claims for your insurance company where appropriate. We may use and disclose your PHI in order to conduct our healthcare business and to perform functions associated with our business activities, including accreditation and licensing.
Secretary of Health and Human Services. We are required to disclose PHI to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when the Secretary is investigating or determining our compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rules.
Business Associates. We may disclose your PHI to Business Associates that are contracted by us to perform services on our behalf which may involve receipt, use or disclose of your PHI. All of our Business Associates must agree to: (i) protect the privacy of your PHI; (ii) use and disclose the information only for the purposes for which the Business Associate was engaged; (iii) be bound by 42 CFR Part 2; and (iv) if necessary, resist in judicial proceedings any efforts to obtain access to patient records except as permitted by law.
Crimes on premises. We may disclose to law enforcement officers information that is directly related to the commission of a crime on the premises or against our personnel or to a threat to commit such a crime.
Reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. We may disclose information required to report under state law incidents of suspected child abuse and neglect to the appropriate state or local authorities. However, we may not disclose the original patient records, including for civil or criminal proceedings which may arise out of the report of suspected child abuse and neglect, without consent.
Court order. We may disclose information required by a court order, provided certain regulatory requirements are met.
Emergency situations. We may disclose information to medical personnel for the purpose of treating you in an emergency.
Research. We may use and disclose your information for research if certain requirements are met, such as approval by an Institutional Review Board.
Audit and Evaluation Activities. We may disclose your information to persons conducting certain audit and evaluation activities, provided the person agrees to certain restrictions on disclosure of information.
Reporting of Death. We may disclose your information related to cause of death to a public health authority that is authorized to receive such information.
We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for the copying and/or mailing process of your request. As to PHI which may be maintained in electronic form and format, you may request a copy to which you are otherwise entitled in that electronic form and format if it is readily producible, but if not, then in any readable form and format as we may agree (e.g. PDF). Your request may also include transmittal directions to another individual or entity.
We are required to create and maintain an accounting (list) of certain disclosures we make of your PHI. You have the right to request a copy of such an accounting during a time period specified by applicable law prior to the date on which the accounting is requested (up to six years). You must make any request for an accounting in writing. We are not required by law to record certain types of disclosures (such as disclosures made pursuant to an authorization signed by you), and a listing of these disclosures will not be provided. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12 month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests. We will notify you of the fee to be charged (if any) at the time of the request.