HIPAA Notice of Privacy & Practices
Your Information. Your Rights. BriteLife’s Responsibilities.
This notice describes how BriteLife Recovery South Carolina or BriteLife Recovery Pennsylvania may use and disclose medical information about you and how you can get access to this information. Please examine it thoroughly.
How do we use or share your health information?
How we use and share your health information may depend on the type of treatment you receive. Information relating to substance use treatment is protected by specific federal regulations in addition to HIPAA which are known as 42 CFR Part 2. These regulations protect the confidentiality of information relating to the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any patient in a drug or alcohol treatment program. We do not disclose records relating to substance use treatment without your written consent unless mandated otherwise by law.
We normally use or share your health information in the following ways.
To treat you
We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you. This includes physicians, nurses, pharmacies, and other health care professionals involved in coordination of your care. We only will share information relating to treatment for substance use disorder with such other professionals with your written consent.
To effectively operate our business
We can use and share your health information to run our operations, improve your care, and contact you when needed. For example, we may use or share your information to evaluate the quality of services, for accreditation functions and for our operation and management purposes.
To bill for your services
We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities. We only will share information to obtain payment for substance use disorder treatment with your written consent.
To contact you about appointment scheduling
We may use and disclose PHI to contact you regarding an appointment with us, including text reminders and phone calls. We also may use and disclose PHI to tell you about health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. For instance, we may contact you about new healthcare services.
How else might we use or share your health information?
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We must meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. These conditions include specific requirements for substance use treatment records when applicable. For more information see www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.
Help with public health and safety issues
We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
- Preventing disease – including reporting the results of tests for communicable diseases to government health agencies such as the CDC and state departments of health
- Helping with product recalls
- Reporting adverse reactions to medications
- Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
- Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety
We may use or share your information for research purposes pursuant to a valid authorization from you or when an institutional review board or privacy board has waived the authorization requirement. Under certain circumstances, your information may also be disclosed without your authorization to researchers preparing to conduct a research project or for research on decedents or to researchers pursuant to a written data use agreement.
Health Information Exchanges (HIE)
We may participate in health information exchanges for the purpose of securely exchanging your health information for your treatment, payment, or health care operations or other purposes permitted or required under law. Any exchange of information through an HIE will conform to the above explanation of how we use and share your information.
Complying with the law
We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we are complying with federal privacy law.
Responding to organ and tissue donation requests
We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations. Authorization may be required for substance use treatment information.
Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
Addressing law enforcement, and other government requests
We can use or share health information about you:
- For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official, subject to additional protections for substance use treatment information
- With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
- For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services
To respond to lawsuits and legal actions
We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena, subject to additional protections for substance use treatment information.
When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.
Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record
- You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this.
- We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request.
Ask us to correct your medical record
- You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
- We may say “no” to your request, but we will tell you why in writing within 60 days.
Request confidential communications
- You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
- We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.
Ask us to limit what we use or share
- You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
- If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
Get a list of those with whom we have shared information
- You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we have shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
- We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We will provide an accounting for any time period requested.
Get a copy of this privacy notice
- You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
Choose someone to act for you
- If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
- We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated
- You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the contact information below.
- You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
- We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below then contact us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
- Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
- Share information in a disaster relief situation
If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
In the below cases, we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
- Marketing purposes
BriteLife Recovery Responsibilities
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
- We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- We will follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
- We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Simply contact us in writing if you change your mind.
For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html.
Changes to the Terms of this Notice
We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our website.
Please direct any questions about the use or disclosure of your health information to us at the email below.