Catholic Charities and its affiliates, hereinafter called the “Agency”, assures you that all protected health information the Agency obtains from you through your visit with us is treated as confidential and is not given or shared with any person other than those who need to know in order to help you meet the goal of your visit. Please read this document so you may understand your rights concerning your visit as well as how the law protects your private health Information.
There are Federal, State and City laws that help and guide the Agency on how to handle your private and protected health information. In order for us to properly serve you, you must provide your name, address, phone number, social security number, diagnosis and treatment records, if any. These records will be made available on a need to know basis to members of the Agency’s staff so that the team can appropriately/effectively serve you.
Your health information may be used for the following:
- If you have a grievance
- Information to third party payers
- For quality assurance purposes
- For educating health professionals for quality improvement
- For data research
- As a source of information for tracking diseases so that public officials can manage and improve the health of the nation
- As a source for data for Agency planning
All the information that is collected about you is confidential and is subject to controls over how this information is viewed.
The Agency collects and records information about your health and every time a service is provided, additions are made to your record. This record is the way that staff can learn about your needs. Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is viewed helps you and us to:
- Ensure proper/correct/effective treatment
- Better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information
- Make more informed decisions when making authorized disclosure to others.
The case record regarding you is the physical property of the Agency but the information belongs to you and you have the right to:
- Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of the information provided in that record subject to 45 CFR 164.522
- Inspect and obtain a copy of your case record as provided in 45 CFR 164.524 amend your case record as provided in 45 CFR 164-528
- Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information as provided in CFR 164.528
- Request communications of your health information
- Revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent of action already taken.
The agency is required to:
- We will use your medical health information to provide treatment, obtain payment and for service operations.
- We may disclose health and service information about you to other staff members, technicians, students, or other personnel who are involved in providing services. For example, a staff member providing family counseling services to you may need to know if you are receiving other services in order to make the family counseling services more effective. In addition, the staff member may need to tell the program manager about transportation for you and your services in order to arrange for appropriate transportation. Different departments of the Agency also may share health and service information about you in order to coordinate the different needs, such as prescriptions, assessments, and other services. We may also disclose health and service information about you to people outside clergy or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.
- Law enforcement purposes or in response to a valid subpoena.
- If a correctional facility requires it by law.
- If it is necessary for public health.
- If it is workers compensation.
- Information about health-related services.
- If a change of ownership arises.
Any use of your protected health information outside of this notice will not occur without your written authorization. As an Integrated Service Delivery Agency, we may need to refer you to other programs. If these programs are for services other than for health treatment, payment or operations, your authorization will be required to release your P.H.I. (e.g. if applying for housing.)
Examples of when a client’s authorization is needed is when we are disclosing P.H.I. for purposes such as referrals to housing, youth programs, employment, fundraising or other recreational programs. The confidentiality of HIV, alcohol and drug abuse client records maintained by the Agency is protected by federal law and regulations. The Agency may not disclose outside the Agency and Inside the Agency only on a “need to know” basis that a client attends a program, or disclose any information identifying a client as HIV+, an alcohol or drug abuser unless authorized or ordered by another law (such as a court order).
This agency has business associations with other people, groups or organizations and some services provided to this Agency through contracts will involve their having access to private health information. Our business associates are also obligated by law to keep your protected health information confidential. The Agency assures you that we will protect your private health information by having the Business Associate properly sign a contract which will protect your private health information.
Federal laws and regulations do not protect any information about a crime committed by a client either at an agency program or against any person who works for the Agency or about any threat to commit such a crime. Federal laws and regulations do not protect any information about suspected child abuse or neglect from being reported under state law to appropriate state or local authorities. For more information or to report a problem, you may contact the person at the program from which you are receiving services or the Chief Privacy Officer at the phone number listed below.
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Jacob Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza — Suite 3312
New York, NY 10278