Outcomes, Inc.

It is our policy at Outcomes to protect the privacy of all members of our online community.  We will not share email addresses with any third party.  If you subscribe to our newsletter, you will only receive e-newsletter updates as authorized, and may unsubscribe from the service at any time by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any email message.  Participation in our online discussion forum is also kept confidential.  You alone will decide how much information you would like to publicly disclose to other online discussion participants.

THE NOTICE BELOW DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.


PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY


OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information. “Protected Health Information” (PHI) is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services. We are also required to give you this notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your PHI. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice while it is in effect. This notice takes effect April 14, 2003, and will remain in effect until we replace it.

We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our notice effective for all PHI that we maintain, including PHI we created or received before we made the changes. Before we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice and make the new notice available upon request.

For more information about our privacy practices please contact our Privacy Officer, Ruth Fogleman, at 505-243-2551.

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USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PROTECTED HEALTHCARE INFORMATION

Treatment: We may use and disclose your PHI to provide, manage, and coordinate your care among the staff of Outcomes, Inc. For example, the person taking intake information from you by telephone will relay that information to your therapist prior to your initial appointment. With your written consent we may use or disclose your PHI to a physician or other healthcare provider providing treatment to you or to your health care insurer to obtain necessary authorizations for your treatment.

Payment: With your written consent we may use and disclose your PHI to obtain payment for services provided to you at Outcomes, Inc. For example, should you wish to use your health insurance to pay for services, we will ask for your consent to use your PHI to bill your insurer for your services or to provide them the minimum information necessary to determine your eligibility for services.

Healthcare operations: We may use and disclose your PHI in order to support the business operations of Outcomes, Inc. These activities may include quality assessment and accreditation activities, training of interns, and other related business activities. For example, we may contact you to remind you of an appointment or call you by name in the waiting area when your therapist is ready to see you. We may also in our healthcare operations disclose PHI to business associates with whom we have written agreements containing terms to protect your PHI.

On Your Written Authorization: You may give us a written authorization to use your PHI or to disclose it to another person for the purpose you designate. If you give us an authorization, you may withdraw it in writing at any time. Your withdrawal will not effect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization we can not use or disclose your PHI for any reason than those described in this notice unless disclosure is required by law.

Personal Representatives: We will disclose your PHI to your personal representative when the personal representative has been properly designated by you and the existence of your personal representative is documented to us through a written authorization.

Emergencies: We may use or disclose your PHI in an emergency treatment situation or to avert a serious threat to your health or the safety of another. For example, we are required to take the necessary actions in regard to suicidal or homicidal threats.

Public Benefit: We may use or disclose your PHI as authorized by law for the following purposes deemed to be in the public interest or benefit:

  • As required by law.
  • For public health activities to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive this information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability.
  • To report child abuse or neglect to an agency authorized by law to receive such reports. We may disclose your PHI, with your written consent, if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence to the government agencies authorized to receive such a report. The disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable state and federal laws.
  • To health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations and inspections. Oversight agencies include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs and civil rights laws.
  • In response to court and administrative orders.
  • To law enforcement officials pursuant to subpoenas and other lawful purposes, concerning crime victims, suspicious deaths, crimes on our premises, reporting crimes in emergencies.
  • To avert a serious threat to health and safety.
  • To the military and to federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security issues.
  • To correctional institutions regarding inmates.
  • As authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with state worker’s compensation laws.We will make disclosures for the following public interest purposes, only if you provide us with a written authorization or when disclosure is required by law:
  • To coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors.

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Individual Rights

Access: You have the right, with limited exceptions, to look at or get copies of your PHI contained in a designated records set. A “designated records set” contains medical, mental health and billing records as well as any other records that your treatment provider and Outcomes, Inc. may have compiled in the course of your treatment. Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes (unless your treatment provider agrees this is acceptable); information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding: and PHI that is subject to law that prohibits access to PHI.

You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your PHI and may obtain a request form from us. If we deny your request, we will provide you a written explanation of the denial and inform you if the denial can be reviewed.

Disclosure Accounting: You have a right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made of your PHI since April 14, 2003. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations as described in the Notice of Privacy Practices. It also excludes disclosures made pursuant to your signed authorization.

Restriction: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your PHI. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement except in an emergency. Any agreement we make to a request for additional restrictions must be in writing signed by a person authorized to make such an agreement on our behalf.

Confidential Communication: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your PHI by alternative means or to alternative locations. You must make your request in writing and you must state that the information could endanger you if the communication means or location is not changed. We may condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled under the alternative means and location you request.

Amendment: You have the right, with limited exceptions, to request that we amend your PHI. Your request must be in writing and it must explain why the information must be amended. We may deny your request if we did not create the information you want amended, and for certain other reasons. If we deny your request, we will provide you with a written explanation. You have a right to file a statement of disagreement with Outcomes, Inc. and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of the rebuttal.

Right to Receive a Copy of this Notice: You may request a copy of this notice at any time by contacting our Privacy Officer identified at the beginning of this notice or by using our web site: www.outcomesnm.org

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Questions and Complaints

If you want more information about our privacy practices, or have questions or concerns, please contact our Privacy Officer, Ruth Fogleman at 505-243-2551. If you feel that your privacy rights have been violated, you may complain to Outcomes, Inc. or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. You may file a complaint with Outcomes, Inc. by contacting our Privacy Officer. We support your right to the privacy of your PHI and will not retaliate against you if you chose to file a complaint.