Family Service Foundation, Inc

Privacy Policy

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

YOUR RIGHTS TO CONFIDENTIALITY

Family Service Foundation takes confidentiality very seriously. We follow very strict rules from the Federal and State governments about when we can release your medical record – your Protected Health Information.

All agencies providing services to people with developmental disabilities, mental disorders, and HIV/AIDS are required to abide by the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) to protect the confidentiality of your medical record and treatment, and to establish guidelines as to when this information may be released.

The Federal Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule establishes a foundation to Federal protection for personal health information, carefully balanced to avoid creating unnecessary barriers to the delivery of quality health care. The Rule generally prohibits this program from using or disclosing your Protected Health Information unless authorized by you, except as follows:

We are authorized to disclose your Protected Health Information without your consent when we use that information for treatment, payment, or the health care operations of the program.

Treatment generally means the provision, coordination, or management of health care and related services among health care providers or by a health care provider with a third party, consultation between health care providers regarding a client, or the referral of a client from one health care provider to another. According to COMAR, a signed Release of Information Form is required under this category; however, we are required by law to disclose your Protected Health Information in certain circumstances, such as to report abuse and neglect, and to warn about dangerous behavior.

Payment encompasses the various activities of health care providers to obtain payment or be reimbursed for their services. For example, we may disclose your Protected Heath Information as part of a claim for a payment to a health plan.

Heath Care Operations are certain administrative, financial, licensure, legal and quality improvement activities of a program that are necessary to run its business and to support the core functions of treatment and payment. For example, we may release your Protected Health Information for licensure and/or accreditation purposes.

Your medical records and any verbal or written communications between you, your parent/legal guardian (if applicable), or any authorized representative are strictly confidential. Further, no material or information concerning you or your family will be disclosed to another party without your express written consent and/or that of a legally authorized representative. This excludes circumstances when there is a clear and imminent danger to yourself or others when disclosure is mandated by law.

SECURITY

Your medical record (which includes your Protected Health Information) is kept in a secure location and only those employees or health professionals who need access to your medical record for treatment, payment or health care operations have access to your medical record.

It is our policy to reasonably limit disclosures of requests for Protected Health Information for payment and health care operations to the minimum necessary. We also limit which members of our workforce may have access to your Protected Health Information based on those who need access to the information to do their jobs. We may also disclose information in order to contact you, for example to make appointments, to check with you about how you are doing, and to evaluate the services that we provide to you. We may also contact you for fundraising efforts.

YOUR RIGHTS TO SEE YOUR RECORD

You have the right to see your record (with the exception of psychotherapy notes) or to receive a summary of your record. To do this, please contact the Family Service Foundation Corporate Compliance Officer at 5301 76th Avenue, Landover Hills, Maryland 20784, or by phone at 301-459-2121.

Psychotherapy notes may include the record of the statements made during a counseling session and your therapist’s understanding of those statements. This does not include documentation of medications, treatment rendered, tests, treatment plans, progress notes, and statements of prognosis. The psychotherapy notes are kept within the chart in a separate distinct section from other medical information. Psychotherapy notes may be used by your therapist for your treatment without your authorization. Psychotherapy notes may also be used by the provider without your authorization for certain other limited health care operations; otherwise, the use and disclosure of your psychotherapy notes requires your written authorization. You may review and copy your psychotherapy notes only with the consent of your therapist.

DISCREPANCIES IN YOUR RECORD

If you disagree with the contents of your medical record, you may request an amendment to the record. We will place that amendment in the medical record unless we did not create that part of the record or we believe the existing record is accurate and complete. If we grant the amendment, we will notify your and you may request that we provide the amendment to other programs and to programs that you identify to us as having already received your medical record. If we deny the amendment, we will give you specific reasons for the denial. You may then submit a statement of disagreement and we may submit a rebuttal. If you notify us in writing, we will attach your request for amendment and our denial to future disclosures of that part of your medical record. Also, if you continue to disagree, you may file a complaint with the Family Service Foundation Corporate Office Compliance Officer (contact information above) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services at the Office of Civil Rights at:

U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights, DHHS
150 South Independent Mall – West Room 372
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3499
1-866-627-7748
1-866-788-4989 TTY

If you want your Protected Health Information sent to someone, you must sign an authorization, which can be obtained from the Family Service Foundation Corporate Compliance Officer at 530176th Avenue, Landover Hills, Maryland 20784, or by phone at 301-459-2121, or from your therapist, doctor, or program staff.

HIPAA PRIVACY PROCEDURE COMPLAINT

If you believe that your Protected Health Information has been released in violation of the law, you have the right to file a complaint. You may:

File a complaint with our program by contacting or submitting a letter to the Family Service Foundation Corporate Compliance Officer at 5301 76th Avenue, Landover Hills, Maryland 20784, or by phone at 301-459-2121.

You may also file a complaint with the Health and Human Services at the Office of Civil Rights at:

U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights, DHHS
150 South Independent Mall – West Room 372
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3499
1-866-627-7748
1-866-788-4989 TTY

You have our promise that we will not retaliate against you if you file a complaint.

UPDATES

Over time we may change this Notice of Privacy Practices. If we make changes, a hard copy will be provided to you at no cost.

At Family Service Foundation (FSF), a social services organization in Baltimore, Maryland, we are dedicated to providing advocacy and support to individuals with mental and physical disabilities that have recently left inpatient settings. Integration back into the community can be difficult; for that reason, each member of our team works to provide services specifically tailored to each individual and family that we work with. We believe that all individuals can achieve their highest levels of social, physical, and emotional well-being in the community when they have the proper support. FSF specializes in serving Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and individuals with intellectual disabilities. We also have American Sign Language interpreters on staff at all of our locations for the convenience of our Deaf and hard of hearing clients. For more information about The Family Service Foundation, please visit our website at www.fsfinc.org or give us a call at 301-459-2121.
5301 76th Ave
Landover Hills
MD
20784
USA