Confidentiality and HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
Frontier Behavioral Health is committed to protecting the confidentiality of medical information of our clients and is required by law to do so. The Notice of Privacy Practice describes how we may use and disclose your “protected health information” (PHI) (including information regarding alcohol or drug use or treatment, protected under the federal 42 CFR Part 2 regulations), to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations, and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes the rights of clients to access and control their protected health information.
We ask for the consent of clients to use and disclosure their PHI, as outlined in our Notice of Privacy Practices, by asking clients to sign the Consent for Treatment form regarding their care and continued treatment at FBH. Generally, unless specifically allowed by state or federal regulations without an authorization, FBH will seek a signed authorization from a client or personal representative before disclosing PHI to a third party. All clients are provided a copy of the FBH Notice of Privacy Practices when they begin care at FBH. Additional copies are available upon request at all FBH service sites.
Uses of Information: In summary, FBH may use or disclose a client’s health information without authorization for treatment purposes (including communication with other healthcare providers for purposes of a client’s treatment, or to facilitate continuity of care with subsequent treatment providers upon the client’s discharge from services at FBH); to ensure appropriate payment for services; and to monitor the quality of FBH operations.
Under certain limited circumstances, FBH is permitted to disclose protected health information about a client without authorization. Examples of this include: if there is an emergency situation; to prevent a serious threat to the client or others; for purposes of meeting mandated reporting requirements (such as reporting of suspected abuse); or for public health oversight as required by law.
Other instances in which the agency may disclose protected health information without authorization include: when there is a court order to disclose information; when federal law enforcement requirements mandate disclosure; to medical examiners or coroners as required by law or as necessary for them to carry out their duties; for national security purposes as required by law; or to comply with Washington State Workers’ Compensation Law. Additional disclosure rules apply specifically to individuals who are members of the military or who are inmates of a correctional facility or under the custody of a law enforcement official.
Your Rights Regarding Health Information: As a Client at FBH, you have the right to:
- Know how the agency uses your health information, whom the agency can give it to, and your rights with regard to this information (as outlined in this Notice of Privacy Practices).
- Request an opportunity to inspect or copy your protected health information used to make decisions about your care and maintained as a part of your record.
- Request that your records be amended if you believe that the record is inaccurate or incomplete.
- Ask the agency to provide you with a list of any disclosures that have been made of your protected health information to someone other than those involved in your treatment, billing for your treatment or the agency’s internal operations, or when you have authorized release of information.
- Request that the agency restrict uses and disclosures related to your health information, including to a health plan or other payor, if you pay in full or out of pocket for a service.
- Request confidential communication of your protected health information (for example, you can ask for a conversation to be held in private, or for the agency to send a copy of your bill to a different address).
- Revoke your authorization to use or disclose protected health information, except to the extent that action has already been taken.
- Approve information being shared with other providers in an integrated health plan network, if the client is a beneficiary of a health plan under which there is an integrated health plan network of which FBH is an identified provider.
- Be notified by FBH about a breach of your protected health information if FBH is responsible and has deemed that there is more than a low probability of a resulting problem related to protecting the confidentiality of that information.
Complaints: If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the agency or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Privacy Officer at (360) 902-8278. To file a complaint with FBH, contact the FBH Privacy Officer at 107 South Division, Spokane, WA 99202, or (509) 838-4651, ext. 2197. All complaints must be submitted in writing. The agency will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
Changes to this Notice: FBH reserves the right to change the terms of the agency’s Notice of Privacy Practices. A copy of the current Notice will be posted at each of the agency’s office sites, and copies of the Notice will be made available upon request.
If a client or other individual has any questions about this Notice of Privacy Practices, please contact our Privacy Officer at 509-838-4651, ext. 2197.