Child Focus, Inc. is committed to your privacy and guards any data which you provide in a confidential manner. The Child Focus, Inc website does not collect personal information. Child Focus staff will respond to an e-mail when you request a response. Child Focus, Inc. does not share, sell or make public any information provided to the agency. Individual donors or companies may be identified in materials associated with a gift or special event. Donors who do not wish to receive public recognition must specify in writing, at the time of their donation.
Our Duty to Safeguard Your Protected Health Information
Individually identifiable information about your past, present, or future health or condition, the provision of health care to you, or payment for health care is considered “Protected Health Information” (PHI). We are required to extend certain protections to your PHI, and to give you this Notice about our privacy practices that explains how, when, and why we may use or disclose you PHI. Except in specified circumstances, we must use or disclose only the minimum necessary PHI to accomplish the intended purpose of the use or disclosure. We are required to follow the privacy practices described in the Notice though we reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time. You may request a copy of the new Notice from the front desk at any of our facilities, from your service provider, or from the Privacy Officers.
We use and disclose Protected Health Information for a variety of reasons. We have a limited right to use and/or disclose your PHI for purposes of treatment, payment and for our health care operations. For uses beyond that, we must have your written authorization unless the law permits or requires us to make the use or disclosure without your authorization. If we disclose your PHI to an outside entity in order for that entity to perform a function on our behalf, we must have in place an agreement from the outside entity that it will extend the same degree of privacy protection to your information that we must apply to your PHI. However, the law provides that we are permitted to make some uses/disclosures without your authorization. The following describes and offers examples of our potential uses/disclosures of your PHI.
Generally, we may use or disclose your PHI as follows:
For treatment: We may disclose your PHI to private therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists; primary care providers and specialists when the purpose of the exchange is to facilitate continuity of care. For example, your PHI will be shared among members of your treatment team, including your service provider(s) and supervisor(s).
To obtain payment: We may use/disclose your PHI in order to bill and collect payment for your health care services. For example, we may release portions of your PHI to the Medicaid program, the ODMH central office, the local ADAMH/CMH Board through the Multi-Agency Community Information Services Information System (MACSIS), and/or a private insurer to be paid for services that we delivered to you. We may release your PHI to a collection agency to obtain payment.
For health care operations: We may use/disclose your PHI in evaluation the quality of services provided, or disclose your PHI to our accountant or attorney for audit purposes. Since we are an integrated system, we may disclose your PHI to designated staff in our other facilities. Release of your PHI to the Multi-Agency Community Services Information System and/or state agencies might also be necessary to determine your eligibility for publicly funded services.
Appointment reminders: Unless you provide us with alternative instructions, we may send appointment reminders and other similar materials to your home.
For uses and disclosures beyond treatment, payment and operations purposes we are required to have your written authorization, unless the use or disclosure falls within one of the exceptions described below. Authorizations can be revoked at any time to stop future uses/disclosures except to the extent that we have already undertaken an action in reliance upon your authorization.
We are required to have your written authorization to release psychotherapy notes.
We are required to have your written authorization before using or disclosing your PHI to market a product or service.
We are required to have your written authorization in order to sell your PHI.
The law provides that we may use/disclose your PHI from mental health records without authorization under the following circumstances:
When required by law: We may disclose PHI when a law requires that we report information about suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence, when any felonious behavior is reported to a social worker or counselor (or to someone supervised by a social worker or counselor), if there is suspected criminal activity on our premises, or in response to a court order. We must also disclose PHI to authorities that monitor compliance with these privacy requirements.
For public health activities: We may disclose PHI when we are required to collect information about disease or injury, or to report vital statistics to the public health authority.
For health oversight activities: We may disclose PHI to our central office, the protection and advocacy agency, or another agency responsible for monitoring the health care system for such purposes as reporting or investigation of unusual incidents, and monitoring of the Medicaid program.
Relating to decedents: We may disclose PHI related to an individual’s death to coroners, medical examiners or funeral directions, and to organ procurement organizations relating to organ, eye, or tissue donations or transplants.
For research purposes: In certain circumstances, and under supervision of a privacy board, we may disclose PHI to our central office research staff and their designees in order to assist medical /psychiatric research.
For specific government functions: We may disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans in certain situations, to correctional facilities in certain situations, to government benefit programs relating to eligibility and enrollment, and for national security reasons, such as protection of the President.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI from Alcohol and Other Drug Records Not Requiring Authorization
The law provides that we may use/disclose your PHI from alcohol and other drug records with out authorization under the following circumstances:
When required by law: We may disclose PHI when a law requires that we report information about suspected child abuse and neglect, when felonious behavior is reported to a social worker or counselor (or to someone supervised by a social worker or counselor) when a crime has been committed on the program premises, or against program personnel, or in response to a court order.
Relating to decedents: We may disclose PHI relating to an individual’s death if state or federal law requires the information for collection of vital statistics or inquiry into cause of death.
For research, audit or evaluation purposes: In certain circumstances, we may disclose PHI for research, audit or evaluation purposes.
To avert threat to health or safety: In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, we may disclose PHI to law enforcement when a threat is made to commit a crime on the program premises or against program personnel.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring You to Have an Opportunity to Object
We may disclose a limited amount of your PHI to families, friends or others involved in your care: if we inform you about the disclosure in advance and you do not object, as long as the law does not otherwise prohibit the disclosure. We may share with these people information directly related to their involvement in your care, or payment for your care. We may also share PHI with these people to notify them of an emergency.
You have the following rights relating to your protected health information:
To request restriction on uses/disclosures: You have the right to ask that we limit how we use or disclose your PHI. We will consider your request, but are not legally bound to agree to the restriction. To the extent that we do agree to any restrictions on our use/disclosure of your PHI, we will put the agreement in writing and abide by it except in emergency situations. We cannot agree to limit uses/disclosures that are required by law. You have the right to restrict the disclosure of your PHI to health plans/insurers for any treatment you paid for in full out of pocket.
To choose how we contact you: You have the right to ask that we send you information at an alternative address or by an alternative means. We must agree to your request as long as it is reasonably easy for us to do so.
We may contact you for fundraising purposes. You have the right to opt out of such fundraising communications.
To inspect and request a copy of your PHI: Unless your access to your records is restricted for clear and documented treatment reasons, you have a right to see your protected health information upon your written request. We will respond to your request within 30 days. If we deny your access, we will give you written reasons for the denial and explain any right to have the denial reviewed.
If you want copies of your PHI, a charge for copying will be imposed. You have a right to choose which portions of your information you want copied and to have prior information about the cost of copying.
To request amendment of your PHI: If you believe that there is a mistake or missing information in our record of your PHI, you may request, in writing, that we correct or add to the record. We will respond within 60 days of receiving your request. We may deny the request if we determine that the PHI is: (1) correct and complete; (2) not permitted to be disclosed, or; (3) not created by us/or not part of our records. Any denial will state the reasons for denial and explain your rights to have the request and denial, along with any statement in response that you provide, appended to your PHI. If we approve the request for amendment, we will change the PHI and so inform you, and tell others that need to know about the change in the PHI.
Your right to information about disclosures that have been made: You have a right to a list of when, to whom, for what purpose, and what content of your PHI has been released for purposes, to law enforcement officials or correctional facilities, or disclosures made before April 2003. We will respond to your written request for such a list within 60 days of receiving it. Your request can relate to disclosures dating back up to six years. There will be no charge for one such list annually. There will be a charge for more frequent requests.
You Have the Right to Receive this Notice:
You have a right to receive a paper copy of this Notice and/or an electronic copy by email upon request.
Affected individuals will be notified of any breach of unsecured PHI no later than 60 calendar days after the breach is discovered. An exception applies when law enforcement determines a notification would impede a criminal investigation or threaten national security.
If you think we may have violated your privacy rights, or if you disagree with a decision we made about access to your PHI, you may file a complaint with Child Focus, Inc.’s Chief or Associate Privacy Officer. You also may file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington D.C., 20201 or call 1-877-696-6775. We will take no retaliatory action against you if you make such complaints.
To Submit a Complaint:
If you have questions about this Notice or any complaints about our privacy practices, please contact your Client Right Officers or Client Rights Advocate, or the statewide Clients Rights Advocate at:
Ohio Department of Mental Health
30 East Broad Street, 8th Floor Columbus, OH 43215-3430
Telephone: (614) 466-2333