NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY 

Confidentiality and the privacy of your records are very important to us.  We will do our utmost to safeguard your privacy and help you understand your rights.  This notice describes how we may use and disclose information about you; your rights, including how you can get access to this information; and other duties we have.  Please review this carefully.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Information regarding your health care and substance abuse treatment is protected by Maine state regulations and by two federal laws: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq., 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 & 164, and the Confidentiality Law, 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2, 42 C.F.R. Part 2.  Under these laws, Oxford County Mental Health Services (OCMHS) may not disclose to a person outside OCMHS that you attend or have attended OCMHS, information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser, or any other protected information, except as permitted by federal law.

 

OCMHS must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information about you for most purposes. You may revoke such consent in writing, except consents for the criminal justice system if you are mandated into treatment. Federal and state laws and regulations permit OCMHS to disclose specific information in certain situations without your written permission:

  • Within OCMHS, that which is necessary for staff to carry out their duties

  • To medical personnel in a medical emergency

  • As allowed by a court order

  • To report a crime committed on OCMHS’ premises or against OCMHS personnel, or the threat of such a crime

  • For research, audit or evaluations by agencies that regulate or fund OCMHS programs

  • To report current or past suspected child abuse or neglect to appropriate authorities

  • When OCMHS has an agreement with a business associate, such as for legal services or accounting, that information necessary to perform those services

  • To prevent a serious threat to the health, safety or life of yourself or another person.

 

YOUR RIGHTS

  • You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your clinical information.  We are not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but if we do agree, then we are bound by that agreement and may not use or disclose any information which you have restricted, except as necessary in an emergency.

  • You have the right to receive communication from us in a confidential manner.  If you want us to use a phone or address other than your home, you must request this in writing.  We will accommodate such requests that are reasonable.

  • You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the clinical record maintained and created by OCMHS, 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.  If you request a copy of your record, we may charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of copying and postage.

  • You have the right to request an amendment of information in your record, maintained by OCMHS, that you believe is inaccurate or incomplete.

  • You have the right to request and receive an accounting of certain non-routine disclosures made by OCMHS during the six years prior to your request.  The disclosures include those made without written consent:  that are pursuant to court orders; to report child abuse; and with a business associate for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations.

  • You have the right to receive a copy of this notice.

 

OCMHS’ DUTIES

  • We are 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.

  • We are required by law to abide by the terms of this notice.

  • We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and to make new provisions for all protected health information we maintain.  If we make an important change, we will distribute the notice to all current clients.  Others may request a copy from the privacy officer.  For further information contact the privacy officer.

 

COMPLAINTS

You may complain to OCMHS and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated under HIPAA.  Violation of the 42 CFR Confidentiality Law by program is a crime.  Suspected violations of the Confidentiality Law may be reported to the United States Attorney in the district where the violations occurs.  You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.  Complaints may be made to:

 

            Oxford County Mental Health Services                                      Office of Substance Abuse

            Compliance Officer                                     and/or                   Executive Department

            150 Congress Street                                                               State House Station #159

            Rumford, ME 04276                                                                Augusta, ME 04333

            (207) 364-3549

Oxford County Mental Health Services is a private non-profit charitable 501(c)3 organization, funded in part by membership dues, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and tax-deductible contributions.

 

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