Breaking The Line Books 


 

Breaking the Line Books - BTLB Notice of Privacy Practices

*This notice describes how medical information about BTLB clients may be used and disclosed and how clients can get access to this information.* 

This notice describes: (1) how health information provided by BTLB clients, their legally authorized representative, or their minor child can be used and shared, and (2) how BTLB clients can get copies of their health information. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

About this notice:

Effective date: This notice takes effect on January 1, 2016 and stays in effect until replaced by another notice.  This notice is required by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. §1320d, et seq., and regulations adopted under that act).

In this Privacy Notice, the word “Agency” means BTLB. This notice tells BTLB clients about: (1) their privacy rights, (2 the agency’s duty to protect health information that identifies BTLB clients and (3) how the agency can use or share health information that identifies BTLB clients without their written permission. This notice doesn't apply to health information that doesn't identify BTLB clients or their legally authorized representative. In this notice, "health information" means the same as “medical information” or "protected health information." "Health information" in this notice also can include genetic information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium that that is created or received by a health-care service provider, health plan, public health authority, employer, life insurer, school or university, or health-care clearinghouse. Health information might identify BTLB clients and can relate to: (1) Their past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition; (2) providing health care to BTLB clients; or (3) the past, present, or future payment for providing their health care.

Their privacy rights:

The law gives BTLB clients the right to:
·  Adequate notice of: (1) the uses and disclosures of protected health information that can be made by the agency. (2) Their rights related to their health information and (3) the agency’s legal duties to protected health information, with some legal exceptions. This notice is available online on the agency’s website: www.breakthelineDFW.com.
·  Ask the agency to restrict certain uses or disclosures of health information about BTLB clients. However, the law doesn't require the agency to agree to a requested restriction if it is more than what the law allows.
·  Get confidential communications of health information and make reasonable requests to get information in a different way or location. However the agency will require the request in writing with a statement or explanation for the request. For example, BTLB clients might explain that sending information to their usual address might put BTLB clients in danger. BTLB clients must be specific about where and how we can contact BTLB clients.
·  In some situations, look at or get a copy of certain health information that the agency has about BTLB clients.
·  Ask the agency to correct certain information about BTLB clients if BTLB clients believe the information is wrong or incomplete. Most of the time, the agency can’t change or delete information, even if it is incorrect. However, if the agency decides it should make a correction, it will add the correct information to the record and note that the new information takes the place of the old information. The old information will remain in the record. If the agency denies their request to change the information, BTLB clients can have their written disagreement reviewed the agency and placed in their record.
·  Ask for a list of disclosures the agency has made of certain health information in some situations.
·  Ask for and get a paper copy of this notice from the agency.  Cancel permission BTLB clients have given the agency to use or share health information that identifies BTLB clients in some cases, unless the agency has already taken action based on their permission. BTLB clients must cancel their permission in writing and deliver it to the agency  
·  In some situations, be notified by letter from the BTLB Privacy Office if their health information has been used or shared in an unauthorized manner.
·  Be notified with a revised notice at certain times after significant changes are made in the use or disclosure of their health information.
·  For all notices to, or requests for copies of information from the agency HHSC, please see the Complaint and Question section for contact information.

The duty to protect health information that identifies BTLB clients:

The law requires the agency to take reasonable steps to protect the privacy and security of their health information. It also requires the agency to give BTLB clients this notice, which describes the agency's legal duties and privacy practices. In most situations, the agency can't use or share health information that identifies BTLB clients without Their written authorization, except to carry out treatment, payment for their health care or the agency's health-care operations, or as required by law, as described below. This notice explains under what circumstances the agency can use or share health information that identifies BTLB clients without their permission.
For all other uses and disclosures, the agency must get their written permission. BTLB clients can cancel their permission at any time, unless the agency has already taken action based on their permission, unless otherwise concerns their: (1) treatment, (2) payment for their health care, (3) agency's health-care operations, or (4) as required or authorized by law.

Uses or disclosures that might require their authorization:
·  Carry out treatment, payment, health-care operations, or as required by law.
·  Be used by the agency for its own training programs or:
·  Be used by the agency to defend itself in a legal action or other proceedings brought by BTLB clients or their legally authorized representative.

For their treatment by a health-care service provider, including case management or care coordination for BTLB clients, or to direct or recommend alternative treatments, therapies, health-care service providers, employment services, or settings of care to BTLB clients. 

For case management or care coordination, contacting of individuals with information about treatment alternatives and related functions to the extent these activities don't fall within the definition of treatment.

Material changes to privacy practices

BTLB clients will get this notice upon enrollment in the agency’s health plan, then once every three years thereafter. BTLB clients will be notified of the availability of the notice and how to get it. If the agency materially changes its privacy practices, it must notify BTLB clients of the changes within 60 days by mailing a new Notice of Privacy Practices, or by posting the notice prominently on its website. It will then be redistributed with the next annual mailing. The Agency reserves the right to change its privacy practices. 

The new privacy notice will be sent to the most recent address BTLB clients have given the agency if it is mailed. It is their duty, or the duty of their legally authorized individual, to promptly tell the agency if BTLB clients had a change of address. 

The new practices will apply to all the health information the agency has about BTLB clients, regardless of when the agency received or created the information. 

Breach of Protected Health Information 

In the event their protected health information is unsecured and disclose without the authorization of an agency or BTLB clients, BTLB clients will be notified of a data breach. An agency is required to notify BTLB clients even if there is no reason to suspect any misuse of the protected health information. BTLB clients will be notified by mail or by phone as soon as reasonably possible. It is their duty, or the duty of Their legally authorized individual, to promptly tell the agency if BTLB clients had a change of address. 

Genetic information 

The agency will never use genetic information for underwriting purposes.  The agency is required to comply with the terms of the notice currently in effect.

Employees 

Agency employees are trained and required to protect the privacy of health information that identifies BTLB clients. An agency doesn't give employees access to health information unless they need it for a business reason. Business reasons for needing access to health information include making benefit decisions, paying bills, and planning for the care BTLB clients need. The agency will punish employees who don't protect the privacy of health information that identifies BTLB clients. 

Complaints and questions 

If BTLB clients believe their privacy rights have been violated, contact the agency. BTLB clients also can contact the agency if BTLB clients: (1) have questions about this notice, (2) need more information about their privacy rights, (3) need a physical address for the agency, or (4) are requesting a copy of health information from the agency.

If BTLB clients believe an agency has violated their privacy rights, BTLB clients also can file a complaint with the: 
Secretary 
Office of Civil Rights 
Region VI 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young St., Suite 1169
Dallas, Texas, 75202
Voice Phone (800) 368-1019
FAX (214) 767-0432
TDD (800) 537-7697 

There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.

How the agency uses and shares health information that identifies BTLB clients:

BTLB employment service operations

The agency can use or share health information about BTLB clients for its employment service operations.  The agency's employment service operations can include:
·  Conducting quality vocational assessment and job skills improvement activities.
·  Reviewing the competence, qualifications, and performance of BTLB clients
·  Training BTLB personnel.
·  Conducting accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities.
·  Carrying out activities related to the creation, renewal, or replacement of a contract for employment services.
·  Providing, receiving or arranging for client services review, legal services, or auditing functions or:
·  Engaging in business management or the general administrative activities of the agency.

The agency can share health information about BTLB clients with the agency’s business associate (contractor) or by the contractor to its subcontractor, if the business associate:
·  Needs the information to perform services on behalf of the agency. and
·  Agrees to protect the privacy of the information.

Other examples of uses and disclosures for employment service operations include using or disclosing health information for case management; ensuring an agency's health-care service provider is qualified to treat individuals; or auditing a health-care service provider's bill to ensure an agency has been billed for only care BTLB clients received. An agency also can contact BTLB clients to tell BTLB clients about employment/educational alternatives or additional benefits BTLB clients might be interested in.

Family member, other relative, guardian, legally authorized representative (LAR) or close personal friend

The agency can share health information about BTLB clients to a family member, other relative, guardian, legal authorized representative, or close personal friend:
·  When directly relevant to such person's involvement with their employment service plan
·  To notify the person of their location, general condition, or death and:
·  With their agreement, if BTLB clients are capable, unless BTLB clients are unable or in an emergency.

Their family means:

·  Their dependents    Or:
(2) Any other person who is their first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree relative, such as their:

·  Parents, spouses, siblings, and children.
·  Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces.
·  Great-grandparents, great-grandchildren, great aunts, great uncles, and first cousins.
·  Great-great grandparents, great-great grandchildren, and children of first cousins.

The agency can make reasonable inferences of their best interest in allowing a person to act on their behalf such as pick up employment services documents, employment skills tools, employment plans, or other similar forms of protected health information.

Mental health or substance use. The agency can't share mental health records about BTLB clients or information that identifies BTLB clients as seeking or getting substance abuse services to family members, relatives, or friends without their written permission or the written permission of their legally authorized representative, unless legally authorized by BTLB clients or required by law, for example, their treatment, or in a medical emergency.

"Required by law" uses or disclosures of PHI

Government programs providing public benefits

The agency can share health information about BTLB clients with a government agency offering public benefits if:
·  The information relates to whether BTLB clients qualify for or are signed-up for social services and the law requires or specifically allows the disclosure or:
·  The other government agency has the same privacy protections we do, has programs that serve similar types of people, and the disclosure is needed to coordinate or improve how the programs are run.

Public health

An agency can share health information about BTLB clients with:
·  A public health authority for purposes of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
·  An official of a foreign government agency who is acting with the public health authority and:
·  A government agency allowed to get reports of child abuse or neglect.

Victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence

If the agency believes BTLB clients are the victim or perpetrator of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, the agency might share health information about BTLB clients with a government agency that gets reports of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence if:

·  BTLB clients agree to the disclosure.
·  A law requires the disclosure; or
·  A law requires or permits disclosure and the disclosure is needed to prevent serious harm to BTLB clients or someone else, or BTLB clients are unable to agree or disagree, the information is needed for immediate action, and the information won't be used against BTLB clients.

If the agency makes a report under this section, the agency will tell BTLB clients or their representative about the report unless it believes that telling BTLB clients would place BTLB clients at risk of harm or BTLB clients are a suspected perpetrator.

Serious threat to health or safety

The agency can use or share health information about BTLB clients if it believes the use or disclosure is needed:
·  To prevent or lessen a serious and immediate threat to the health and safety of a person or the public.
·  For law enforcement authorities to identify or catch an individual who has admitted participating in a violent crime that resulted in serious physical harm to the victim, unless the information was learned while initiating or in the course of employment coaching or:
·  For law enforcement authorities to catch an individual who has escaped from lawful custody.

For other law enforcement purposes

The agency can share health information about BTLB clients to a law enforcement official for the following law enforcement purposes:
·  To comply with a grand jury subpoena.
·  To comply with an administrative request, such as a civil investigative demand, if the information is relevant to an investigation that relates to the administration of one of the agency’s programs.
·  To identify and locate a suspect, fugitive, witness, or missing person.
·  In response to a request for information about an actual or suspected crime victim.
·  To alert a law enforcement official of a death that an agency suspects is the result of criminal conduct or:
·  To report evidence of a crime on an agency’s property.

For judicial or administrative proceedings

The agency can share health information about BTLB clients in response to:
·  An order from a regular or administrative court.
·  A subpoena or other discovery request by a party to a lawsuit when the agency or another agency is a party to the lawsuit.
·  A judicial or administrative proceeding. In some situations, BTLB clients or their legally authorized representative will be notified of the request for Their PHI.

Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Agency must share health information about BTLB clients to the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the Secretary requests to review compliance with HIPAA.

Compound authorizations
The agency won't combine authorizations for use or disclosure of Their PHI with any other document to create a compound authorization.
An individual can cancel an authorization provided by giving written notice to the agency or the privacy office.

Other uses and disclosures:

The agency can use or share health information about BTLB clients:
·  To create information that is de-identified and doesn't identify BTLB clients.
·  To the U.S. military or a foreign military for military purposes, or if BTLB clients are a member of the group asking for the information.
·  For purposes of lawful national security activities.
·  To federal officials to protect the president of the United States and others.
·  To a prison or jail, if BTLB clients are an inmate of that prison or jail, or to law enforcement personnel if BTLB clients are in custody.
·  To comply with workers’ compensation laws or similar laws and:
·  To tell or help in telling a family member or another person involved in their care about their location, general condition, or death. BTLB can't share mental health records about BTLB clients or information that identifies BTLB clients as seeking or giving substance abuse services to a family member or anyone without their written permission or the written permission of their guardian, unless authorized by law.