Programs & Services

Privacy Practices

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL, MENTAL HEALTH AND/OR DRUG AND ALCOHOL RELATED INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

 

General Information

Information regarding your health care, including payment for health care, is protected by two federal laws: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), and 42 CFR USC 1320d  U.S.C.  290dd-2, 42 C.F.R. Part 2.  Under these laws, CenterPointe may not tell a person outside CenterPointe that you attend the program, disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol and drug abuser, or disclose any other protected information except as permitted by federal law. 

Designated CenterPointe staff have access to personal health information necessary to provide services and coordinate your care, or to use your information for administrative health care operations such as consumer outcomes and conducting follow up studies with you.   CenterPointe must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information about you for payment purposes.  For example, CenterPointe must obtain your written consent before it can disclose your personal health care information to managed care companies, Medicaid or private insurers in order to authorize and be paid for services provided.  However, in certain circumstances your refusal to give consent could affect your ability to access services.  Generally you must also sign a written consent before CenterPointe can share information outside of CenterPointe staff for treatment purposes or coordination of other mental health or medical services.  Federal law, however, permits CenterPointe to disclose information without your permission:

  1. To medical personnel in a medical emergency
  2. To report a crime committed on CenterPointe premises, or against CenterPointe personnel
  3. To appropriate authorities to report suspected adult or child abuse or neglect
  4. In an agreement with a qualified service organization/business associate
  5. For research, audit or evaluations
  6. As allowed by a Court Order

For example, CenterPointe can disclose information without your consent to obtain billing services, or to another health care provider such as a pharmacy to provide health care related services to you as long as there is a qualified service organization / business associate agreement in place. 

This agency receives funding to provide services for homeless and near homeless individuals and their families.  A requirement of some funding is that the agency participates in the Nebraska Management Information System, which collects basic information about consumers receiving services from this agency.   CenterPointe has a business associate agreement with the Nebraska Center for Children Families and The Law, who administers this databank.   This requirement for funding was enacted in order to get an accurate count of individuals and families who are homeless and to identify the need for different services. 

We only collect information we consider appropriate.  The collection and use of all personal information is guided by strict standards of confidentiality. 

Before CenterPointe can use or disclose any information about your health in any manner, which is not described above, it must first obtain your specific written consent allowing the disclosure to be made.  You may revoke any such written consent in writing at any time, except to the extent that action has been taken in reliance on it. 

 

Your Privacy Rights as a Consumer of Services at CenterPointe

Under a federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) you have the right to submit a written request for restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information.  CenterPointe is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but if does agree then it is bound by that agreement and may not disclose any information which you have restricted except as necessary in a medical emergency.

You have the right to submit a written request that we communicate with you by alternative means or at an alternative location.  CenterPointe will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation from you. 

Under HIPAA you also have the right to submit a written request to inspect and copy your own health information records maintained by CenterPointe, except to the extent that the information contains psychotherapy notes or information compiled for use in a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding or in other limited circumstances.   You may receive one copy of your own health care information without charge, per 12-month period.  Additional requests within the same 12-month period are subject to a $20 fee. 

Under HIPAA you also have the right, with some exception, to submit a written request to amend information in your health care records maintained by CenterPointe, and to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your health related information made by CenterPointe during the six years prior to your request, beginning April 14, 2003.  You also have a right to receive a paper copy of this notice.

 

CenterPointe’s Duties

CenterPointe is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information.  CenterPointe is required by law to abide by the terms of this notice.  CenterPointe reserves the right to change the terms of this notice and to make new notice provisions effective for all protected health information it maintains.  A new notice will be provided to you at the time of any revisions or amendments.

Complaints and Reporting Violations

You may complain to CenterPointe through the grievance procedure and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated under HIPAA. You will not be retaliated against for filing such a complaint.

Violation of the Confidentiality Law by a program is a crime.  Suspected violations of the Confidentiality law can be reported to the United States Attorney General in the District where the violation occurs. 

 

Contact

For further information, contact: CenterPointe Privacy Officer. Christine McCollister. 2633 P Street, Lincoln NE   68503.  402.475.8717.  Effective Date:  April 14, 2003