NOTICE OF HEALTH INFORMATION PRACTICES

This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

Valeo Behavioral Health Care compiles information relating to you and the treatment and services you receive. This information is called protected health information (PHI), and is maintained in a designated record set. We may use and disclose this information in various ways. Sometimes your agreement or authorization is necessary for us to use or disclose your information and sometimes it is not. This Notice describes how we use and disclose your protected health information and your rights. We are required by law to give you this Notice, and we are required to follow it. We may change this Notice at any time if the law changes or when our policies change. If we change the Notice, you will be given a revised Notice. Upon request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy by contacting the Director of Quality Management/Privacy Officer at 330 Oakley, requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your appointment.

Understanding Your Health Record/Information
Each time you visit a clinician, doctor or other healthcare/mental healthcare provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your evaluation, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment and treatment plan. This information, often referred to as your medical record, serves as a:

  • Basis for planning your care and treatment
  • Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care
  • Legal document describing the services you received
  • Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided
  • A tool in educating health professionals
  • A source of data for behavioral/medical research
  • A source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation
  • A source of data for facility planning and marketing
  • A tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve

Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to:

  • Ensure its accuracy
  • Better understand who, what, when, where, and why other may access your health information
  • Make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosures to others

Your Health Information Rights
Although your medical record is the physical property of Valeo BHC/Valeo Recovery Center/Valeo Community Residence Program, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

  • Access, inspect, and obtain a copy of your protected health information. To exercise this right, your should contact the Privacy Officer or the Health Information Management Department (HIM) because you must complete a specific form so we have the information we need to process your request. You may request that your records be provided in an electronic format and we can work together to agree on an appropriate electronic format. Or you can receive your records in a paper copy. You may also direct that your protected health information be sent in electronic format to another individual. You may be charged a reasonable fee for access. We can refuse access under certain circumstances. If we refuse access, we will tell you in writing and in some circumstances you may ask that a neutral person review the refusal.
  • Amend your records. If you feel that your protected health information is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask that we amend your health record. To exercise this right, you must contact the Privacy Officer or the Health Information Management Department (HIM) to complete a specific form stating your reason for the request and other information that we need to process the request. We can refuse your request if we did not create the information that you were denied access to, or if the information is accurate and complete as written. You will be notifies in writing if your request is refused and you will be provided and opportunity to have your request included in your protected health information.
  • An accounting of disclosures of your protected health information that is maintained in a designated record set. This is a list of persons, government agencies, or businesses who have obtained your health information. To exercise this right, you should contact the Privacy Officer or the Health Information Management Department (HIM) to complete a specific form to provide us with the information that we need to process your request. there are specific time limits on such requests. You have the right to one accounting per year at no cost.
  • Communication accommodation. You have the right to request that we communicate with you in a certain way or at a specific location. To exercise this right, you should contact the Privacy Officer or the Health Information Manager Department (HIM). You must complete a specific form to provide us the information that we need to process your request.
  • Brach Notification. You have the right to be notified if we determine that there has been a breach of your protected health information.
  • Obtain the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP). You have the right to have a paper copy of this Notice. You may request a copy from the Privacy Officer.
  • File a complaint. If you believe your privacy rights as describe in this Notice have been violated, you may file a written complaint with our Privacy Officer or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services- Office for Civil Rights (Regional Office at Kansas City), 601 East 12th Street, Room 248, Kansas City, MO 64106, 816-426-7277, or through U.S. Department of Health and Human Services You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

Our Responsibilities
This organization is required to:

  • Maintain the privacy of your health information
  • Train employees concerning HIPAA Privacy Rules
  • Discipline employees and others who violate the HIPAA Privacy Rules
  • Maintain a complaint/grievances process for complaints about HIPAA Privacy Rules violations
  • Provide you with a notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you
  • Abide by the terms of this notice
  • Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction
  • Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.
  • Take action to mitigate any bad effect of inappropriate disclosure or use of PHI to the extent possible
  • Provide written notification of any breach of unsecured PHI (UPHI)
  • Provide annual report to HHA listing all breaches

We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. Should our information practices change, we will mail a revised notice to the address you've supplied us.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice. We will have policies in place to promote an identity theft prevention program to identify, detect and respond to patterns, practices, or specific activities that could indicate identity theft.

For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact:

Director of Quality Management / Privacy Officer
330 Oakley
Topeka, KS 66606
Phone: 785-233-1730

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a dispute with Valeo or with the secretary of Health and Human Services. All complaints/grievances regarding HIPAA Privacy Rule violations must be submitted in writing. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint/grievance.

Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment and Health Operations

We will use your health information for treatment.
For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, clinician or other member of your healthcare team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Members of your healthcare team will then record the actions they took and their observations. We will also provide other treaters with copies of various reports that should assist him or her in treatment once you're discharged from this Agency.

We will use your health information for payment.
For example: A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis and services provided. We may need to obtain a pre-authorization for treatment or send your health information to an insurance company so it may pay for treatment. However, if you pay out of pocket for your treatment and make a specific request that we not send information to your insurance company for that treatment, we will not send that information to your insurer except under certain circumstances.

We will use your health information for regular health operations.
For example: Members of the medical staff, the Risk Manager or Director of Quality Management, or members of the Continuous Quality Enhancement (CQE) may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the care and service we provide. We may also contract with other businesses to do specific tasks for us; we may share your protected health information related to those tasks. When we do this, the business agrees in the contract to protect your health information and use and disclose such health information only to the extent Valeo Behavioral Health Care would be able to do so. These businesses are called Business Associates.

Business Associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we've asked them to do and bill your or your third-party payer for services rendered. Business Associates are subject to requirements for administrative, physical, and technical safeguards and the civil and criminal penalties for violating those standards. Business Associates must comply with use and disclosure rules with respect to PHI it obtains from or creates on behalf of our organization.

Appointment Reminders: We may use and disclose health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment at Valeo. Unless you direct us to do otherwise, we may leave messages on your telephone answering machine identifying "Dr's Office", and asking for you to return our call. Unless we are specifically instructed by you otherwise in a particular circumstance, we will not disclose any health information to any person other than you who answers your phone except to leave a message for you to return the call.

Surveys: We may use and disclose health information to contact you to assess your satisfaction with our services.

Treatment Alternatives: We may use and disclose health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you. We may also use and disclose protected health information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to your. in some cases the facility may receive payment for these activities. We will give your the opportunity to let us know if you no longer with to receive this type of information.

Notification: We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or another person responsible for your care, your location and general condition. We may also disclose your health information to an organization assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status, and location. [Unless you inform us that you do not want any information released, we may tell individuals who ask, your location (if in a hospital, residential setting, etc.) and provide a general statement of your condition.}

Research: We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.

Fundraising Activities: We may use health information about you to contact you in an effort to raise money for Valeo and its operations. We may disclose health information to a foundation related to Valeo so that the foundation may contact you in raising money for Valeo. We only would release contact information, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you received treatment or services at Valeo. You have the right to opt out of receiving this type of communication. Such election constitutes a revocation of authorization.

As Required By Law: We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA, health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recall, repairs, or replacement.

Workers compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.

Public Health Risks: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability. This includes reporting child abuse, spreading a disease or condition, or to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe you have been the victim of abuse, (physical, fiduciary, etc.) neglect or domestic violence.

Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose your protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and civil rights laws.

Correctional Institution: Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or agent's thereof health information necessary for you health and the health and safety of other individuals.

To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.

Military and Veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release health information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

Employers: We may release health information about you to your employer if we provide treatment to you at the request of your employer and the services are provided to conduct an evaluation relating to surveillance of the workplace or to evaluate whether you have a work related illness or injury. Any disclosures to your employer will be made only if you execute a specific authorization for the release of that information to your employer.

Law enforcement: We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:

  • In response to a court order, search warrant
  • About criminal conduct at Valeo
  • In emergency circumstances to report a crime

Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in response to a court order. We may also disclose health information about you in response to a discovery request or other lawful process by someone involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

Coroners/ Medical Examiners: We may release health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine cause of death. An appropriate request will be received from the Coroner/Medical Examiner.

National Security and Intelligence Activities: We may release health information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities authorized by law.

Protective Services for the President and Others: We may disclose health information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons, or foreign heads of state, or to conduct special investigations.

Inmates/Persons in Custody: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official when it is necessary for the institution to provide you with health care, when it is necessary to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or when it is necessary for the safety and security of the correctional facility.

Interpreters: We may disclose health information when language barriers require obtaining an interpreter.

Medication Program: We may disclose health information in an effort to obtain assistance in the medication program.

Prohibition on Sale of PHI: We cannot directly or indirectly receive any remuneration in exchange for your PHI unless specifically authorized by you.

Other Uses of Health Information: Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you provide us authorization to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. Of course, we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.

Changes to This Notice
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice at our facility and on our web site.

Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Records
The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse client records maintained by Valeo are protected by Federal law and regulations. Generally, the program may not say to a person outside the program that a client attends the program, or disclose any information identifying a client as an alcohol or drug abuser unless one of the following conditions is met:

  • The client authorizes in writing
  • The disclosure is allowed by a court order
  • The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit or program evaluation

Violation of the federal law and regulations by a program 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 a client either at Valeo or against any person who works for Valeo or about any threat to commit such a crime.

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.

Federal law makes provision for your health information to be released to an appropriate health oversight agency provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more clients, workers or the public.

This notice was originally published April 14, 2003 and revised and effective on September 23, 2013.