HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

HIPAA Privacy Officer

Telephone Number: (805) 422-8139

Effective Date: November 7, 2023


1. Confidentiality of Health Information

Health information that Aspen Treatment Center (herein “Aspen,” “we” or “us”) receives and/or creates about you, personally, relating to your past, present, or future health, treatment, or payment for health care services, is “protected health information” under the federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164. The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse records maintained by Aspen is protected by federal law as well, commonly referred to as the Alcohol and Other Drug (“AOD”) Confidentiality Law, 42 CFR Part 2. Generally, we may not communicate to a person outside Aspen that you are a client of Aspen, or disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser, or use or disclose any other protected health information except in limited circumstances as permitted by federal law. Your health information is further protected by applicable state law.

2. Pledge Regarding Health Information

Aspen Treatment Center understands that health information about you is personal. We are committed to protecting health information about you. In order to provide quality service and to comply with certain state and federal legal requirements, Aspen creates a record of the services you receive from us. This Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”) applies to all of the records of your service generated by us. This Notice will inform you about the ways in which we may use and disclose protected health information about you. It also describes your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of protected health information. Aspen Treatment Center is required by law to:

(1) Make sure that health information that identifies you is kept private;

(2) Give you this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices concerning health information about you;

(3) Follow the terms of this Notice that are currently in effect; and(4) Notify you in the event there is an unauthorized use or disclosure of your health information.

3. Who is Bound by this Notice

This Notice describes Aspen Treatment Center’s practices and those of our staff, service providers, and other personnel who are involved in providing services. Aspen and these individuals will follow the terms of this Notice, and may use or disclose protected health information about you as permitted or required by law. This Notice describes your rights to access and control your protected health information, including information that may identify you and that relates to your past, present, or future physical health or mental condition, healthcare and related healthcare services. Your medical providers may have other policies that they follow and may use in their own Notice of Privacy Practices.

4. How Aspen Treatment may Use and Disclose Protected Health Information About You

Aspen Treatment Center collects health information about you and stores it in a chart, on a computer, and/or in a personal health record. This is your medical record. The medical record is the property of Aspen, but the information in the medical record belongs to you. The following categories describe different ways that we may use or disclose protected health information. For each category of uses and disclosures, we will explain what is meant. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information fall within one of the categories. Some information, such as certain drug and alcohol information, HIV, or mental health conditions are entitled to special restrictions.

4.1 For Internal Communications. Your protected health information will be used within Aspen Treatment Center between and among our staff who have a need for the information, in connection with our duty to diagnose, treat, or refer you for treatment. This means that your protected health information may be shared between or among personnel for treatment, payment or health care operational purposes. For example, two or more counselors within Aspen may consult with each other regarding your best course of treatment. We may share your protected health information in an effort to receive payment for healthcare services rendered to you. And/or, your protected health information may be discussed within Aspen Treatment Center staff, as it pertains to your treatment in connection with others receiving treatment, in an effort to improve the overall quality of care provided by us. Your protected health information will not be re-disclosed except as is otherwise permitted herein.

4.2. To Qualified Service Organizations and/or Business Associates. Some or all of your protected health information may be subject to disclosure through contracts for services with qualified service organizations and/or business associates, outside of Aspen Treatment Center, that assist us in providing our services. Examples of qualified service organizations and/or business associates include billing companies, data processing companies, or companies that provide administrative or specialty services. To protect your health information, we require these qualified service organizations and/or business associates to follow the same standards we maintain, through terms detailed in a written agreement with them.

4.3. In Medical Emergencies. Your health information may be disclosed to medical personnel in a medical emergency, when there is immediate threat to the health of an individual, and when immediate medical intervention is required.

4.4. To Researchers. Under certain circumstances, Aspen Treatment Center may use and disclose your protected health information for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all clients who received one test or treatment to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, must be approved by an Institutional Review Board, or other privacy review board, as permitted within regulations, that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your protected health information.

4.5. To Auditors and Evaluators. Aspen Treatment Center may disclose protected health information to regulatory agencies, funders, third-party payers, or peer review organizations that monitor the types of programs we offer, to ensure we are complying with regulatory mandates and are properly accounting for and disbursing funds received.

4.6. Pursuant to Authorized Court Order. Aspen Treatment Center may disclose your protected health information pursuant to an authorizing court order. This is a specific kind of court order in which procedures have been taken to protect your identity, and in which the court makes specific determinations, as outlined in the federal regulations limiting the scope of the disclosure.

4.7. Crime on Aspen Treatment Center Premises or Against Aspen Personnel. Aspen Treatment Center may disclose a limited amount of protected health information to law enforcement when a client commits or threatens to commit a crime on Aspen Treatment Center premises or against our personnel. Federal laws and regulations do not protect any information about a crime committed by a client either at Aspen Treatment Center or against any person who works for us or about any threat to commit such a crime.

4.8. Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect. Aspen Treatment Center must report suspected child abuse or neglect, as mandated by state law. Federal law and regulations do not protect information about suspected child abuse or neglect from being reported under state law to appropriate state or local authorities.

4.9. As Required By Law. Aspen will disclose protected health information as required by state law, in a manner otherwise permitted by federal privacy and confidentiality regulations.

4.10. Appointment Reminders. Aspen Treatment Center reserves the right to contact you, in a manner permitted by law, with appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives and other health-related benefits that may be appropriate to you.

4.11. Other Uses and Disclosure of Protected Health Information. Other uses and disclosures of protected health information not covered by this Notice will be made only with your or your legal representative’s written authorization. If you or your legal representative authorize us to use or disclose protected health information about you, you or your legal representative may revoke that authorization, at any time, except to the extent we have already taken action relying on the original authorization.

5. Your Rights Regarding Health Information Aspen Treatment Maintains About You

You have the following rights regarding your health information. In order to exercise these rights, you must contact the HIPAA Privacy Officer at Aspen Treatment Center. You may be asked to submit a written request. The HIPAA Privacy Officer may be contacted using the following information:

Aspen Treatment Center
Attn: HIPAA Privacy Officer
1445 E Los Angeles Ave. Suite 104
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Phone: (805) 422-8139
Email: info@aspentreatmentcenters.com

5.1. Right to Inspect and Copy. With certain exceptions, you have the right to inspect and receive copies of your health information that Aspen maintains about you. In some very limited circumstances Aspen may, as authorized by law, deny your request to inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information. You will be notified of a denial to any part or parts of your request. Some denials, by law, are reviewable, and you will be notified regarding the procedures for invoking a right to have a denial reviewed. Other denials, however, as set forth in the law, are not reviewable. Each request will be reviewed individually, and a response will be provided to you in accordance with the law.

5.2. Right to Amend Your Health Information. If you believe that protected health information about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask Aspen Treatment Center to amend the information. We may deny your request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason that supports the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend protected health information that we believe: (i) is accurate and complete; (ii) was not created by Aspen Treatment Center, unless the person or entity that created the protected health information is no longer available to make the amendment; (iii) is not part of the protected health information kept by or for Aspen Treatment Center; or (iv) is not part of the protected health information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy. If your right to amend is denied, we will notify you of the denial and provide you with instructions on how you may exercise your right to submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial and/or how you may request that your request to amend and a copy of the denial be kept together with the protected health information at issue, and disclosed together with any further disclosures of the protected health information at issue.

5.3. Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to receive a list of certain disclosures that Aspen Treatment Center may have made of your protected health information. This list will not include certain information, as set forth in HIPAA regulations, including those made for treatment, payment, or health care operations within Aspen Treatment Center, or made pursuant to your valid authorization or made directly to you.

5.4. Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the protected health information that we use or disclose about your treatment, payment, or health care operations within Aspen Treatment Center. While we will consider your request, we are not required to agree to it. If we do agree to it, we will comply with your request, except in emergency situations where your protected health information is needed to provide you with emergency medical treatment. Aspen Treatment Center will not agree to restrictions on uses or disclosures that are legally required, or those which are legally permitted and which we reasonably believe to be in the best interest of your health.

5.5. Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that Aspen Treatment Center communicate with you about your protected health information in a specific way or at a specific location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.

5.6. Right to File a Complaint. Violation of federal law and regulations by Aspen Treatment Center is a crime, and suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations. If you have any questions or believe your privacy rights may have been violated, you can contact Aspen Treatment Center’s HIPAA Privacy Officer by phone, in person, or by USPS mail and provide a written summary of your concern. You may also file a written complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services. You will not be penalized or retaliated against for filing a complaint.

5.7. Right to Receive a Copy. You have the right to obtain a copy of this Notice.

6. Changes to This Notice

Aspen Treatment Center reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice at any time. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for protected health information we already have about you, as well as any protected health information we receive in the future. Aspen Treatment Center will post a copy of the current Notice, which will include an effective date.