Sunflower Wellness Retreat
Privacy Practices Information
This privacy practice information describes the privacy practices of Sunflower Wellness Retreat. When your protected health information is used or disclosed, we are required by law to abide by the terms of this privacy notice, or any other Notice of Privacy Practices that is currently in effect at the time of the information’s use or disclosure, and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your protected health information.
Privacy and Confidentiality
As a drug and alcohol treatment provider we are covered by two distinct federal laws that protect the privacy and confidentiality of information about your health, health care, and payment for services related to your health.
- Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Information (42 C.F.R. Part 2):
42 C.F.R. Part 2 protects health information that identifies you as being a patient in a drug or alcohol program, or as having a drug or alcohol problem. This includes persons who have applied for, participated in, or received an interview, counseling, or any other service from a federally assisted alcohol or drug abuse program. This means that we may not acknowledge to a person outside of the program whether you are a current or former patient, nor can we disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser (except under certain conditions which are outlined in this notice).
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Regulations (45 C.F.R. Parts 160 and 164): HIPAA protects all health information which identifies an individual, not just drug and alcohol related information.
Protected Health Information Uses and Disclosures with your Consent
We may use or disclose your protected health information if you have signed a consent or authorization form that meets requirements set forth in 42 C.F.R. Part 2 and HIPAA. You may revoke your information release authorization at any time, except to the extent that we have already taken action upon the authorization. If you are currently receiving care and wish to revoke your authorization, you will need to deliver a written statement to your counselor or the Program Director. If you have been discharged, you will need to deliver a written statement to Sunflower Wellness Retreat.
Protected Health Information Uses and Disclosures without your Consent
We may use or disclose your protected health information (including information obtained when you are applying for or receiving services for drug or alcohol abuse) under the conditions indicated below, even if you have not signed a consent or authorization form.
Internal Program Communications/Treatment
Program staff may use or disclose your protected health information to other staff within the program, or to an entity having direct administrative control over that program, if the recipient needs the information in connection with duties that arise out of the provision of alcohol or drug abuse diagnosis, treatment, referral or coordination of care. For example, program counselors may consult among themselves if their work facilitating your alcohol or drug treatment so requires.
Health Care Operations
Program staff may use or disclose your protected health information for health care operations, such as internal administration and planning, that improve the quality and effectiveness of the care provided. We may disclose information to government agencies that regulate a program (state licensure or certification agencies,) private agencies that provide third party payments, and peer review organizations that conduct program audits or evaluations (the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations). Any reports compiled as a result of these activities will not disclose, directly or indirectly, any individual patient identity. We may disclose your protected health information to an agent or agency which provides services to Sunflower Wellness Retreat under a Qualified Service Organization Agreement. This agreement includes a statement in which the agent or agency agrees to abide by applicable federal law and related regulations (42 C.F.R. Part 2 and HIPAA).
Payment for Care
We may disclose your protected health information to private agencies that provide third party payments. A group health plan, or health insurance issuer or HMO may disclose protected health information to the sponsor of the plan.
We may disclose your protected health information to medical personnel to the extent necessary to treat a condition which poses an immediate threat to your health and which requires immediate medical intervention.
Incompetent or Deceased Patients
Legal guardians appointed by the court may sign consent forms on behalf of an individual who has been declared incompetent by a court. If a patient has not been declared incompetent by the court, but the Program Director determines that his or her medical conditions prevents “knowing or effective action on his or her own behalf,” the Program Director may authorize disclosures without patient consent for the sole purpose of obtaining payment for services from a third party payer.
Protected patient information of deceased patients may be disclosed through authorization of a personal representative, guardian, or other person authorized by state law in accordance with 42 C.F.R. Part 2.
We may disclose protected health information to a coroner, medical examiner, or other authorized persons under laws requiring the collection of death or other vital statistics, or which permit inquiry into the cause of death.
Judicial and Administrative Proceedings
Your protected health information may be disclosed in response to a court order that meets the requirements of 42 C.F.R. Part 2 concerning Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records.
Commission of a Crime on Facility Premises or Against Program Personnel
Your protected health information may be disclosed to a law enforcement agency if you commit a crime or threaten to commit a crime on program premises or against program personnel. The information disclosed will be limited to information regarding the circumstances of the incident, the suspect’s name, address, last known whereabouts, and status as a patient in the program.
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.
Duty to Warn
If a program learns that a patient has made a specific threat of serious physical harm to another individual or individuals, the program will take appropriate steps to protect the intended victim(s) against such danger. This will include carefully considering options supported by 42 C.F.R. that would permit a disclosure to the intended victim(s) or appropriate authorities.