At True Life Care Mental Health, we are dedicated to providing quality behavioral healthcare services. A crucial part of this commitment is safeguarding your health information according to applicable law. This notice (“Notice of Privacy Practices”) outlines your rights and our responsibilities concerning the protection of your health information under federal law. Protected health information (“PHI”) includes information about you that may identify you and relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health; healthcare services provided; or payment for healthcare services.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your PHI, provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices regarding your PHI, and notify you following a breach of unsecured PHI related to you. We must abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. This notice is effective as of the date listed on the first page and will remain in effect until revised. We must update this Notice of Privacy Practices when there are significant changes to your rights, our duties, or other practices detailed herein.
1. Upon request;
2. Electronically via our website or other electronic means; and
3. Posted in our place of business.
In addition to the above, we have a duty to respond to your requests (e.g., those corresponding to your rights) in a timely and appropriate manner. We value your right to privacy and are committed to maintaining reasonable and appropriate safeguards for your PHI.
Confidentiality of Addiction Treatment Records
The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records maintained by us is protected by federal law and regulations. Generally, we may not disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser without:
1. Your written consent;
2. A court order allowing disclosure; or
3. The disclosure being made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit, or program evaluation.
Violations of federal law and regulations by the treatment center are crimes. Suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations.
Federal law and regulations do not protect information about crimes committed by you at the treatment center or against any person working for the treatment center or any threat to commit such a crime.
Federal laws and regulations do not protect information about suspected child abuse or neglect from being reported under state law to appropriate state or local authorities.
See 42 U.S.C. 290dd-3 and 42 U.S.C. 290ee-3 for federal laws and 42 CFR part 2 for federal regulations.
Usage and Disclosure of PHI
Your Protected Health Information (PHI) may be permitted, required, or authorized for use and disclosure. The following categories outline the various ways we use and disclose PHI.
Within True Life Care Mental Health Staff: We may use or disclose information among staff members who need the information for their duties related to the provision of diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment of alcohol or drug abuse. This communication occurs within our treatment center and is used for purposes such as providing care, billing, tracking charges and credits, checking eligibility for insurance coverage, and preparing insurance claims. We may also use and disclose your PHI for our healthcare business and to perform functions associated with our business activities, including accreditation and licensing.
Secretary of Health and Human Services: We are required to disclose PHI to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when the Secretary investigates or determines our compliance with HIPAA Privacy Rules.
Business Associates: We may disclose your PHI to Business Associates contracted by us to perform services on our behalf, which may involve receipt, use, or disclosure of your PHI. All Business Associates must agree to protect your PHI’s privacy, use and disclose the information only for the intended purposes, be bound by 42 CFR Part 2, and resist any attempts to access patient records in judicial proceedings unless permitted by law.
Crimes on Premises: We may disclose information related to crimes committed on our premises or against our personnel, or threats of such crimes, to law enforcement officers.
Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting: We may disclose information required for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect under state law to the appropriate state or local authorities. However, original patient records may not be disclosed for civil or criminal proceedings arising from suspected child abuse and neglect reports without consent.
Court Order: We may disclose information required by a court order, provided certain regulatory requirements are met.
Emergency Situations: We may disclose information to medical personnel to treat you in an emergency.
Research: We may use and disclose your information for research if certain requirements are met, such as approval by an Institutional Review Board.
Audit and Evaluation Activities: We may disclose your information to persons conducting audit and evaluation activities, provided they agree to certain restrictions on information disclosure.
Cause of Death Reporting: We may disclose information related to the cause of death to an authorized public health authority.
Authorization to Use or Disclose PHI
Apart from the instances stated above, we will not use or disclose your PHI without your written authorization. We will not use or disclose psychotherapy notes, use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes, or sell your PHI unless you have signed an authorization. You or your representative may revoke an authorization in writing at any time to stop future uses or disclosures. We will honor oral revocations upon authenticating your identity until a written revocation is obtained. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect.
You have several rights regarding the PHI we maintain about you. Information on how to exercise these rights is also provided. We are committed to protecting your PHI and ensuring you have access to it when needed and that you understand your rights as described below.
Right to Notice: You have the right to adequate notice of the uses and disclosures of your PHI, our duties and responsibilities regarding the same, and the right to request both paper and electronic copies of this Notice. You may obtain this Notice on our website at True Life Care Mental Health, from facility staff, or by requesting it at any time.
Right to Access, Inspect, and Copy
You have the right to access, inspect, and obtain a copy of your PHI as long as we maintain it, as required by law. This right can be limited only under specific circumstances as outlined by applicable law. All requests to access your PHI must be in writing. In some cases, we may deny your request, and any denial will be provided to you in writing. If you are denied access to your PHI, you can request a review of the denial. Another licensed healthcare professional chosen by True Life Care Mental Health will review your request and the denial. The reviewer will not be the person who initially denied your request. We will comply with the decision of the designated professional. If you are still denied, you have the right to have the denial reviewed by an unaffiliated, licensed third-party healthcare professional. We will comply with the decision made by this professional.
We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for the copying and/or mailing process related to your request. If the PHI is maintained in electronic form and format, you can request a copy in that electronic form and format if readily producible; if not, we’ll provide it in any readable form and format that we agree upon (e.g., PDF). Your request may also include instructions to transmit the information to another individual or entity.
Right to Amend
If you think that the PHI we possess about you is incorrect or incomplete, you have the right to request an amendment to your PHI as long as we maintain it. The request must be in writing, and you need to provide a reason to support the amendment. In some cases, we may deny your request, including when the PHI: 1. Wasn’t created by us; 2. Is excluded from access and inspection under applicable law; or 3. Is accurate and complete. If we deny the amendment, we’ll provide the rationale for denial in writing. You may write a statement of disagreement if your request is denied. This statement will be part of your PHI and included with any disclosure. If we accept the amendment, we’ll collaborate with you to identify other healthcare stakeholders requiring notification and provide it.
Right to Request an Accounting of Disclosures
We must create and maintain an accounting (list) of specific disclosures of your PHI. You have the right to request a copy of this accounting within a timeframe specified by applicable law before the date of the request (up to six years). Any request for accounting must be in writing. We aren’t required by law to document certain types of disclosures (like those made with your signed authorization), and a list of these disclosures won’t be provided. If you request this accounting more than once in 12 months, we may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to additional requests. We’ll notify you of the fee (if any) when you make the request.
Right to Request Restrictions
You can request restrictions or limitations on how we use and disclose your PHI for treatment, payment, and operations. We aren’t obligated to agree to restrictions for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations, except in limited circumstances as described below. This request must be in writing. If we agree to the restriction, we’ll comply with it going forward, unless you revoke it or we believe, based on our professional judgment, that an emergency necessitates bypassing the restriction to provide appropriate care or if the use or disclosure is otherwise allowed by law. In rare cases, we reserve the right to end a restriction we previously agreed to, but only after notifying you.
If you’ve paid out-of-pocket (meaning you or someone other than your health plan has paid for your care) in full for a specific item or service, you can request that your PHI regarding that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for payment or healthcare operations purposes. We’re legally required to honor this request unless you terminate it in writing, and when disclosures aren’t required by law. This request must be in writing.
Right to Confidential Communication
You can request that we communicate with you about your PHI and health matters through alternative means or at alternative locations. This request must be in writing and specify the alternative means or location. We’ll accommodate reasonable requests in line with our responsibility to properly protect your PHI.
Right to Notification of a Breach
You have the right to be informed if we (or one of our Business Associates) discover a breach involving unsecured PHI.
Right to Voice Concerns
You can file a written complaint with us or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you believe we’ve violated your privacy rights. Any complaints to us should be in writing to our Privacy Official at the address provided below. We won’t retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
True Life Care Mental Health
21 Stonebridge Rd
Sparta NJ, 07178
We support your right to privacy of your Protected Health Information. You will not be retaliated against in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If you believe your rights have been violated and would like to submit a complaint directly to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, then you may submit a formal written complaint to the following address:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Office for Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201