Protecting Your Privacy: Understanding HIPAA and Your Rights
Alcohol or Drug Treatment is Confidential
Some people worry about entering into treatment because they fear others knowing about their addiction. Not wanting other people to know their business for whatever reason can stop them from taking that first step causing prolonged suffering. All Drug and Alcohol treatment is confidential and subject to the laws of HIPAA, this ensures that a patient’s privacy is protected.
HIPAA is a Federal Law
The law states that all communications and treatments for Mental Health and Substance Use are protected. A patient can sign an Authorization form usually referred to as a ROI or a Release of Information form that meets the legal requirements enforced by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA. Our staff may ask you to sign a ROI to coordinate care between the different agencies you are receiving services from. You can also give consent to share information with family members, friends or others involved in your care; our staff may share or discuss only the information that the person involved needs to know about your care or payment for care.
WHAT INFORMATION IS PROTECTED BY HIPAA?
- Protected Health Information (PHI) which includes anything that could identify you:
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Medical Record Number
- Certificate or License Numbers
- Email Addresses
- Photographs & electronic images
- Biometric information, including fingerprints
- Health Plan Numbers
- Medical Records
- Treatment and care received
- Payment information
Patient Protection – Under HIPAA Law
Under this law your rights are protected, no records can be released, treatment cannot be verified, we cannot either confirm or deny if you have received treatment. All our staff are trained on HIPAA Policies and Procedures, they are required to undergo this training on an annual basis.
There are times when your information may be shared without your consent, the only times this is permissible under the HIPAA law is if it is suspected that abuse or neglect is involved. We also have to comply with court orders or subpoenas.