This Notice Describes How Medical and Other Personal Information About You May Be Used and Disclosed and How You Can Get Access to this Information. Please Read Carefully.
JFS and its professional staff, employees, interns and independent contract staff follow the privacy practices described in this Notice. JFS keeps your mental health, Protected Health Information (PHI) and Protected Personal Information (PPI) in records that will be maintained and protected in a confidential manner, as required by law. Please note that in order to provide you with the best possible care and treatment, all professional staff involved in your treatment and employees involved in the operation of the agency may access your records.
2. What are Treatment and Case Management Operations?
Your treatment includes sharing information among mental health care providers and professionals who are involved in your treatment. For example, if you are seeing a physician, psychiatrist and a psychotherapist, or a case worker and a psychotherapist they might share your information in the process of coordinating your care. Treatment records may be reviewed as part of an ongoing process directed toward assuring the quality of JFS operations. Designated staff members may periodically have access to all records to verify that JFS standards are met.
3. How will JFS Use my PPI and PHI?
We collect only personal information that is relevant to the purposes for which we plan to use it. To the extend necessary for those purposes, we seek to maintain only personal information that is accurate, complete, and timely.
Your personal mental health records and case management for FSP (Family Stabilization Program) and emergency service records will be retained for approximately 7 years after your last clinical contact or case management assessment with us. After that time has elapsed, the record will be shredded or otherwise destroyed in a way that protects your privacy.
Until the records are destroyed, they may be used, unless asked for restriction on a specific use or disclosure for the following purpose:
- Appointment reminders
- Notification when an appointment is cancelled or rescheduled by JFS
- To carry out administrative functions such as legal, audits, personnel, oversight, and management functions
- To create de-identified (anonymous) information that can be used for research and statistical purposes without identifying clients
- As may be required by law
- For public health purposes, if you agree, as required by law, such as;
- Reporting of child or elder abuse or neglect
- Reporting reactions to medication
- Infectious disease control
- Notifying authorities of suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence
- Mental health oversight activities, e.g., audits; inspection or investigation of administration and management of JFS
- Law enforcement, e.g., in response to a court order or other legal process; to identify or locate an individual being sought by authorities; about a victim of a crime under restricted circumstances; about a death that may be the result of a criminal conduct; about criminal conduct that occurred at JFS; when emergency circumstances occur relating to a crime
- To prevent a serious threat to health or safety
- To military command authorities if you are a member of the armed forces or a member of a foreign military command
- National Security and intelligence activities
- Alcohol and drug abuse information has special privacy protection. JFS will not disclose any information identifying an individual as being a client or provide any mental health or medication information relating to a client’s substance abuse treatment unless: (i) the client consents in writing; (ii) a court order requires disclosure of the information; (iii) medical personnel need the information to meet a medical emergency; (iv) qualified personnel use the information for the purpose of conducting research, management audits or program evaluation; or (v) it is necessary to report a crime or threat to commit a crime or to report abuse or neglect required by law.
4. Your Authorization is Required for Other Disclosures
Except as described previously, we will not use or disclose information from your record unless you authorize JFS, in writing , to do so. You may revoke your permission, which will be effective only after the date of your written revocation.
5. You have Rights Regarding Your Protected Health and Protected Personal Information
You have the following rights regarding your mental health, PHI and PPI, provided that you make a written request to invoke the right on the form provided by JFS.
- RIGHT TO REQUEST RESTRICTION. You may request limitation on your mental health information, PHI and PPI we may disclose, but we are not required to agree to your request. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment or as required by law.
- RIGHT TO CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION. You may request communication in a certain way or at a certain location, but you must specify how and where you wish to be contacted.
- RIGHT TO INSPECT AND COPY. You have the right to inspect and copy your mental health, case management and PPI regarding decisions about your case; however, psychotherapy notes may not be inspected or copied. We may charge a fee for copying, mailing and supplies. Under limited circumstances, your request may be denied; you may request a review of the denial by another licensed mental health professional chosen by JFS. JFS will comply with the outcome of the review.
- RIGHT TO REQUEST CANCELLATION OF RECORDS. If you believe that the information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask to add clarifying information. You may ask for a form for that purpose and the form will require certain specific information. JFS is not required to accept the information that you propose.
- RIGHT TO ACCOUNTING OF DISCLOSURES. You may request a list of the disclosures of your mental health information, PHI and PPI that have been made to persons or entities other than for treatment or health care operations in the last six (6) years.
- RIGHT TO COPY OF THIS NOTICE. You may request a paper of the Notice at any time.
6. Requirements Regarding the Notice
JFS is required to provide you with this Notice that governs our privacy practices. JFS may change its policies or procedures in regard to privacy practices. If and when changes occur, the changes will be effective for protected information we have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. Any time you come into JFS for an appointment, you may ask for a copy of the Privacy Notice that is in effect at the time.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (407) 648-6000.