This notice describes how medial information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please read it carefully.
This four-page Privacy Notice is drafted to be consistent with the Privacy Rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). It is also consistent with the Colorado Mental Health Statutes, which in many cases are more stringent than HIPAA.
OEA is required by law to maintain the privacy of Protected Health Information (see definition below) and provide you with this Privacy Notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to Protected Health Information.
I. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information.
“Protected Health Information” is, generally, individually identifiable health information. “Health Information” is broadly defined as any oral or recorded information relating to your past, present or future physical or mental health and the provision of your health care. “Individually Identifiable” means that it specifically identifies you by name, or any reasonable person would say it can be used to identify you, e.g., social security number or combination of address, phone number, City Department, etc.
A. OEA will not disclose Protected Health Information about you without your written authorization, except as provided below. The authorization must specify to whom we may make the disclosure, what we may disclose and the purpose of the disclosure. We will disclose only what is necessary for the purpose of the disclosure.
B. During the course of your counseling, your counselor may have to consult with one or more providers of your health care such as your Primary Care Physician and any past and current psychotherapists. Your authorization is required.
C. OEA may contact you about appointment reminders.
D. Authorizations are generally in effect for one year, unless you limit them to a shorter period. You may revoke your authorization in writing at any time except to the extent that we have already acted on them.
E. If you threaten grave harm to yourself or someone else, your counselor must intervene to protect you and the other person. Your counselor does not need an authorization to do so. If your counselor learns of alleged child abuse, he or she must intervene, for example, by making a report to the appropriate child protective agency. Your authorization is not required in that case, either. Also, there are times when your counselor may have to reveal Protected Health Information to law enforcement officials pursuant to a court order, court-ordered warrant, or subpoena.
F. Other OEA Counselors may review your file and Protected Health Information without authorization.
G. Parents and legal guardians of dependents fourteen (14) years of age and younger have the authority to request Protected Health Information of their dependents. However, if the parent or guardian agrees in writing to a confidential relationship between the OEA Counselor and the dependent then Protected Health Information will not be disclosed to them.
II. Your Rights with Respect to Protected Health Information and How You May Exercise Them.
A. You have the right to request in writing that you inspect and/or obtain a photocopy of your Protected Health Information, with the exception of psychotherapy notes, which are the property of the counselor. “Psychotherapy Notes” means any kind of notes of a health care provider or counselor who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing the contents of a conversation during a private counseling session or during a group, joint or family counseling session and are separated from the rest of the client’s record.
B. Before giving you a copy of your Protected Health Information, your counselor must review it with another counselor to determine that there is no information that may be harmful to you or a third party. Any potentially harmful information will not be shared with you.
C. You have the right to request in writing that your counselor amend your Protected Health Information. Your counselor may decline to do so.
D. You have the right to request in writing that your counselor give you an accounting of all the disclosures of your Protected Health Information that have been made, except disclosures (i) made to other OEA Counselors; (ii) disclosures made to you; and (iii) disclosures that occurred prior to April 14, 2003.
E. You have the right to request in writing that OEA place additional restrictions on OEA’s use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information. OEA is not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if OEA does, then OEA will abide by this agreement, except in an emergency. OEA may terminate its agreement to the restriction by informing the client of the termination.
III. Additional Information and Complaints
A. If you would like more information about OEA’s privacy practices or have questions or concerns, you may contact OEA’s designated Privacy Official and Contact Officer:
Deborah Martin Suite 760
Office of Employee Assistance
Denver, Colorado 80202
The alternate Privacy Official and Contact Officer is:
Office of Employee Assistance
Denver, Colorado 80202
B. If you are concerned that OEA may have violated your privacy rights, or if you disagree with a decision OEA has made about your access to your Protected Health Information or in response to your request to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information, you may submit a complaint in writing to the Privacy Official within sixty (60) days of the event or decision.
C. If you are not satisfied with the Privacy Official’s decision, you may submit in writing to the Director a petition for review of the decision within ninety (90) days of the Privacy Official’s response. The Director will notify you of his decision in writing within ninety (90) days of receiving the petition or within one hundred and eighty (180) days if there are special circumstances requiring the longer response time.
D. If you are not satisfied by the final decision of the OEA Director, you may proceed with having the same reviewed under the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 106(a)(4), by the district court of the second judicial district of the State of Colorado.
F. OEA will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with the OEA or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.