Privacy Policy

Download a copy of our Privacy Practices

 

NORTHEAST IOWA BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective 4/14/03

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.  PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Northeast Iowa Mental Health Center's Privacy Officer

 

Purpose of This Privacy Notice

This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, initiate payment, or conduct health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law.  The medical practice reserves the right to make changes in the Notice of Privacy Practices.  The Notice describes your rights to access and control your protected health information.  “Protected health information” 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 and related health care services.

Who Will Follow This Notice:

This notice describes the privacy policies of our practice and that of:

  • Any health care professionals authorized to enter information into your medical record
  • All employees of Northeast Iowa Mental Health Center
  • Written acknowledgement of the receipt of this notice

Our Pledge Regarding Medical Information

We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal, and we are committed to protecting it. A record of the care and services you receive at this practice is created and maintained at this location. This notice applies to all of those records of your care.

We are required by law to:

  • Make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private
  • Provide you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices regarding your medical information
  • Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.  We may change the terms of our notice at any time.  The new notice will be effective for all protected health information that we maintain at any time.  Upon your request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices.  You may obtain a copy by calling our office and requesting a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your next appointment.

How We May Use And Disclose Medical Information About You:

The following categories describe ways that we use and disclose medical information.  Examples of each category are included. Not every use or disclosure in each category is listed; however, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information falls into one of these categories:

  • For Treatment:  We may use medical information about you to provide, coordinate, or; manage your medical treatment or services.  We may disclose medical information about you to other physicians or health care providers who are or will be involved in taking care of you.  For example, we would disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to a home health agency that provides care to you.  Another example is that your protected health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.
  • For Payment:  We may use and disclose medical information about you so that treatment and services you receive at our practice may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party.  We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you going to receive to obtain prior approval, to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment, and for undertaking utilization review activities.  For example, obtaining approval for intensive outpatient may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the intensive outpatient treatment.
  • For Healthcare Operations:  We may use or disclose, as-needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of our practice.  These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of college interns, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.  For example, we may disclose your protected health information to graduate interns that see individuals at our office under the supervision of our clinical staff.  We may call you by your name in the waiting room when your therapist is ready to see you.  We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment, either by telephone or letter.

We may share your protected health information with third party “business associates” that perform various activities (e.g. billing, auditors) for the agency.  Whenever an arrangement between our office and a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your protected health information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy or your protected health information.

We many use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.  For example, your name and address may be used to send you a newsletter about our practice and the services we offer. You may contact our Privacy Officer to request that these materials not be sent to you.

Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based Upon Your Written Authorization

Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below.  You may revoke this authorization at any time, in writing, except to the extent that Northeast Iowa Mental Health Center personnel have taken action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.

Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made With Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object

We may use and disclose your protected health information in the following instances.  You have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your protected health information. If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the protected health information, then your therapist may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest.  In this case, only the protected health information that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed.

Others Involved In Your Healthcare:  Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend, or anyone else you identify, your protected health information that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care.  If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment.  We may use or disclose protected health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location, general condition or death.  Finally, we may use or disclose your protected health information to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate uses and disclosures to family or other individuals involved in your health care.

Emergencies:  We may use or disclosure your protected health information in an emergency treatment situation.  If this happens, your therapist shall try to obtain your acknowledgement of receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices as soon as reasonably practical after the delivery of treatment.

Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object

We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations without your consent or authorization. These situations include:

Required By Law:  We may use or disclose your protected health information to the extent that law requires the use or disclosure.  The use or disclosure will be made win compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law.  You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.

Public Health:  We may disclose your protected health information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability.

Communicable Diseases:  We may disclose your protected health information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.

Health Oversight:  We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections.  Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.

Abuse or Neglect:  We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect.  In addition, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the government agency authorized to receive such information.  In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirement of applicable federal and state laws.

Food and Drug Administration:  We may disclose your protected health information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, track products, and to enable product recall.

Legal Proceedings:  We may disclose protected health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized) or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement:  We may disclose protected health information, so long as applicable state and federal confidentiality and legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes.  These law enforcement purposes include (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) pertaining to victims of a crime, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of a criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on the agency’s premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred.

Worker’s Compensation:  We may disclose your protected health information, with proper authorization; to comply with worker’s compensation laws and other similar legally established programs.

Inmates:  We may use or disclose your protected health information if you are an inmate of a correctional facility or incarcerated.  We will have a proper release prior to releasing information but will follow 42 C.F.R. Part 2 concerning duration and revocability.

Required Uses and Disclosures:  Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164.500 et. seq.

 

YOUR RIGHTS

Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.

You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information.  This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information.  A “designated record set” contains medical and billing records and any other records that your therapist and the practice use for making decisions about you.

Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records; psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information.  Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be reviewed.  In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed.  Please contact our Privacy Officer if you have a question about access to your medical record.

You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information.  This means you may ask us to not use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations.  You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices.  Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply.

Northeast Iowa Mental Health is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request.  If your therapist believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted.  If your therapist does agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment.  With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your therapist.  You may request a restriction by contacting and discussing the issue with the Privacy Officer.

You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at n alternative location.  We will accommodate reasonable requests.  We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact.  We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request.  Please make this request in writing to the Privacy Officer.

You may have the right to have your psychiatrist or therapist amend your protected health information. This means you may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information.  In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment.  If we deny your request for an amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal.  Please contact our Privacy Officer to determine if you have questions about amending your medical record.

You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your protected health information.  This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations as described in this Notice Of Privacy Practices.  It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes.  You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after April 14, 2003.  You may request a shorter time frame.  The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations.

 

Complaints

You may complain to us if you believe your privacy rights have been violated.  You may file a complaint with us by notifying our privacy officer of your complaint.  All complaints must be submitted in writing.  Our Privacy Officer  will assist you with writing your complaint, if you require such assistance.

We support your right to the privacy of you protected health information.  We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.  You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

You may contact our Privacy Officer for further information about the complaint process.

Privacy Officer:   Marcia Oltrogge
Phone:                 (563) 382-3649
Address:              P.O. Box 349
                            Decorah, IA  52101

 

Changes to this Notice

We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices.  We also reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice of Privacy Practices effective for all health information we already have about you as well as any health information we receive in the future.  We will post a copy of the current Notice of Privacy Practices at our main office and at each site where we provide care.  You may also obtain a copy of the current Notice of Privacy Practices by calling us at (563) 382-3649 and requesting that a copy be sent to you in the mail or by asking for one at any time at our office.