Notice of Privacy Practices

Link to complete NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

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: our Privacy Officer, the Director of Administrative Services at 301.424.5200, ext. 147.

This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out services, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also 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.

We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. 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 that time. Upon your request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices by accessing our website www.ttlc.org, calling the office and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your next appointment.

1. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information

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

You will be asked by The Treatment and Learning Centers (TLC) to sign an authorization form. Once you have authorized the use and disclosure of your protected health information for services, payment and health care operations by signing the authorization form, TLC will use or disclose your protected health information as described in this Section.

Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that TLC is permitted to make once you have signed our authorization form. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to describe the types of uses and disclosures that may be made by our office once you have provided consent.

Services: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. For example, we would disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to other professionals who may be serving you when we have the necessary permission from you to disclose your protected health information.

In addition, we may disclose your protected health information from time-to-time to another TLC professional or health care provider (e.g., a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request becomes involved in your care.

Payment: Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services.

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 students, licensing, marketing and fundraising activities, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.

For example, we may disclose your protected health information to graduate students that see consumers at our office and with third party “business associates” that perform various activities (e.g., billing, transcription services).

We may 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.

We may use or disclose your demographic information and the dates that you received services from TLC, as necessary, in order to contact you for fundraising activities supported by our office. If you do not want to receive these materials, please contact our Privacy Officer and request that these fundraising 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 TLC has taken an 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 TLC 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 any other person 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.

Emergencies: We may use or disclose your protected health information in an emergency treatment situation. If this happens, TLC shall try to obtain your consent as soon as reasonably practicable after the delivery of services. If your TLC professional or another professional in the practice is required by law to provide services to you and the TLC professional has attempted to obtain your authorization but is unable to obtain your authorization, he or she may still use or disclose your protected health information to treat you.

Communication Barriers: We may use and disclose your protected health information if your TLC professional or another professional in the practice attempts to obtain consent from you but is unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers and the therapist/tutor    determines, using professional judgment, that you intend to consent to use or disclosure under the circumstances.

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

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 in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements ofthe law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.

Public Health and Safety: 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, suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We may also disclose your protected health information, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.

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, and government regulatory programs such as the Food and Drug Administration.

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), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement: We may also disclose protected health information, so long as applicable 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 criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on the Practice’s premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred. In addition, we may use or disclose your protected health information if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your TLC professional created or received your protected health information in the course of providing care to you.

Research: We may disclose your protected health information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your protected health information.

Military Activity and National Security: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose protected health information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. We may also disclose your protected health information to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities, including for the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.

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.

2. Your 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 about you 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 TLC professional 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 reviewable. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our Privacy Officer if you have questions about access to your medical record.

Breach Notification – In the case of a breach of PHI, we will notify you as required by law and according to the TLC policies for breach notification.

You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of care provision, payment or healthcare operations. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply.

TLC is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If TLC 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 TLC 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 care. You may request a restriction by talking to your TLC professional or by contacting the Privacy Officer.

You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an 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 our Privacy Officer.

You may have the right to have your TLC professional 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 amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may 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 care provision, 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. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations.

3. Complaints

You may file a compliant to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our Privacy Officer at (301) 424-5200 or privacy@ttlc.org for further information about the complaint process. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically. Copias de TLC- Notas de las Practicas Privada estan disponible en Espanol y en escritura grande como sea necessario. Por favor haga esta solicitud a nuestra Personal Privada.