Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS)
A Merger of LifePoint Solutions, Clermont Recovery Center and Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services
Purpose of this Notice
The newly merged GCBHS respects the privacy of personal information and understands the importance of keeping this information confidential and secure. This Notice describes how we protect the confidentiality of the personal information we receive, how we may use and disclose it and how you can access this information. Please review it carefully.
Information regarding your health care, including payment for health care, is protected by two federal laws: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq., 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 & 164, and the Confidentiality Law, 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2, 42 C.F.R. Part 2.
HIPAA Protections afforded all GCBHS Clients
Under HIPAA, you have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. GCBHS is not required to agree to any restriction you request, but if it does agree then it is bound by that agreement and may not use or disclose any information, which you have restricted except as necessary in a medical emergency. GCBHS is only required to agree to your request if you request a restriction on disclosures to your health plan for payment or health care operations purposes, and you pay for the services you receive from GCBHS yourself (out-of-pocket). You have the right to request that we communicate with you by an alternative means or at an alternative location. GCBHS will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation from you. Under HIPAA, you also have the right to inspect and copy your own health information maintained by GCBHS except to the extent that the information contains psychotherapy notes or information compiled for use in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding or in other limited circumstances. Under HIPAA, you also have the right, with some exceptions, to amend health care information maintained in GCBHS’ records, and to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your health -related information made by GCBHS during the six years prior to your request. You may obtain an electronic copy of your record upon request. You also have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice. We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information. GCBHS is required to obtain your written consent prior to disclosing information about you for marketing purposes, and GCBHS must obtain your written consent before disclosing any of your treatment records.
Permitted Uses and Disclosures:
A covered entity is permitted, but not required, to use and disclose protected health information, without an individual’s authorization, for the following purposes or situations: when required by law (such as reporting suspected abuse/neglect); for public health activities (such as reporting vital statistics to the public health authority); for health oversight activities (such as audits); when relating to decedents (such as disclosing information to a coroner); for research purposes; to avert threat to health or safety; and for specific government functions.
GCBHS is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information. GCBHS reserves the right to change the terms of this notice and to make new notice provisions effective for all protected health information it maintains. GCBHS is required by law to abide by the terms of this Notice. The most recent copy of this notice will be posted in the lobby of each site and will be available on our website at http://www.gcbhs.com.
Specific Client Protections for Alcohol and Drug Services (Most of these are also afforded under HIPAA with specific differences)
Under these laws (Confidentiality Law 42 C.F.R., Part 2), pertaining to Alcohol and Drug Services, it is specified that GCBHS may not say to a person outside GCB that you attend the program, nor may GCBHS disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug client, or disclose any other protected information except as permitted by federal law.
GCBHS must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information about you for payment purposes. For example, GCBHS must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information to your health insurer in order to be paid for services. Generally, you must also sign a written consent before GCBHS can share information for treatment purposes or for health care operations.
However, federal law specifies that GCBHS may disclose information without your written permission:
Pursuant to an agreement with a qualified service organization/business associate; For research, audit, or evaluations; To report a crime committed on GCBHS’ premises or against GCBHS staff; To medical personnel in a medical emergency; To appropriate authorities to report suspected child abuse or neglect; As allowed by a specific type of court order
For example, GCBHS can disclose information without your consent to obtain legal or financial services, or to another medical facility to provide health care to you, as long as there is a business associate agreement in place. Before GCBHS can use or disclose any information about your health in a manner that is not described above, it must first obtain your specific written consent allowing it to make the disclosure. You may revoke any such written consent verbally or in writing. Note: Special revocation restrictions apply to certain releases to the criminal justice system. Violation of the Alcohol and Drug Client Confidentiality Law by a program is a crime.
Complaints and Reporting Violations (all GCBHS Clients)
You have the right to ask GCBHS and the United States Department of Health and Human Services for assistance if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. If you believe that any information that we have about you has been used or disclosed inappropriately you can contact Michael Lyons, Privacy Officer, 1501 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206, (513) 354-5232 or to:
Region V, Office of Civil Rights,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
233 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 240
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Fax: (312) 886-1807
Phone: (312) 886-2359
TDD: (312) 353-5693
Complaints must be in writing and no retaliatory action will be made against you for contacting the agents listed above.