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HIPPA and Confidentiality

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 has caused changes in the governing of the condition of health benefits, the delivery and payment of healthcare services and the security and confidentiality of protected health information.
  • The HIPAA Privacy Rule, which took effect in 2003, regulates the disclosure of certain information held by organizations such as HOPE Services, LLC.
  • The Privacy Rule established regulations for the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI), which includes a patient’s health status, provision of health care, and payment of healthcare.
  • PHI may be used and disclosed in a variety of circumstances, and for different reasons. Many of these uses and disclosures need prior authorization or approval from a patient’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Many of these uses/disclosures occur with treatment, for payment of health services, or for healthcare operations.
    • When disclosing or using PHI, Hope Services, LLC will always make an effort to disclose only the minimum necessary information required to achieve its purpose.
  • Additional situations may arise, where the law permits or requires an organization to use and disclose health information without authorization, such as:
    • Reporting suspected child abuse to state welfare agencies emergencies (G.S 122C-55 e; G.S. 7B-302 e)
    • The Department of Correction (DOC) requesting information regarding any individual of that facility when an inmate has been determined by the DOC to need treatment for MD/DD/SA concerns (G.S. 122C-55 c), advanced instruction (G.S. 122C-55 (e2)).
    • Other exceptions as detailed in (G.S. 164.512) or HIPAA.
  • Under HIPAA, every patient:
    • Must be told (in writing) how their healthcare information (PHI) may be used.
    • Has the right to see their medical records.
    • Has the right to amend (change) incorrect/incomplete information in their medical records.
    • Must give authorization before health information is released (with few exceptions).
    • Has a right to complain formally if they feel their privacy was not protected.
  • Hope Services takes pride in being a learning environment for students pursuing a degree a human services field. We place masters & doctorial level interns across our continuum of services to ensure they have diverse experiences while placed in the agency. Interns are held to the same Patient Rights and Confidentiality as well as reporting requirements (in regards to allegations of abuse/neglect or exploitation) as all other Hope Services staff.