This notice describes how medical and drug and alcohol related information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
Information regarding your health care, including payment for health care, is protected by two federal laws; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2, 42 C.F.R. Part 2. Under these laws, Crossroads for Women, Inc. (Crossroads) may not say to any person outside Crossroads that you even attend the program, nor may Crossroads disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser or consumer of mental health services, or disclose any other protected information except as permitted by federal law.
In addition, Crossroads must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information about you for payment purposes. For example, Crossroads must obtain your written consent before it can disclose information to your health insurer in order to be paid for services. Generally, you must also sign a written consent before Crossroads can share information for treatment purposes or for health care operations. However, federal law permits Crossroads to disclose information without your written permission:
1. Pursuant to an agreement with a business associate;
2. For research, audit or program evaluation;
3. To report a crime committed on Crossroad’s premises or against Crossroads personnel;
4. To medical personnel in a medical emergency;
5. To appropriate authorities to report suspected child abuse or neglect; or
6. As allowed by a court order.
For example, Crossroads can disclose information without your consent to obtain legal or financial services, as long as there is a business associate agreement in place.
Before Crossroads can use or disclose any information about your health in a manner that is not described above, it must first obtain your specific written authorization allowing it to make the disclosure. Any such written authorization is valid until it expires, which may be after you leave treatment. However any authorization may be revoked by you, except to the extent Crossroads has already taken action in reliance upon it.
Under HIPAA, you have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. Crossroads is not required to agree to any restriction you request, but if it does agree, then it is bound by that agreement and may not disclose any information which you have restricted except as necessary in a medical emergency. You have the right to request that we communicate with you by alternative means or at an alternative location. Crossroads will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation from you. Under HIPAA, you also have the right to inspect and copy your own health information maintained by Crossroads, except to the extent that the information contains psychotherapy notes or information compiled for use in a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding or in other limited circumstances. Under HIPAA you also have the right, with some exceptions and if done in writing with the reasons for the request, to amend health care information maintained in Crossroad’s records and to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your health related information made by Crossroads after April 14, 2003, during the six years prior to your request. You also have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice.
The Duties of Crossroads
Crossroads is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information. Crossroads is required by law to abide by the terms of this notice. Crossroads reserves the right to change the terms of this notice and to make new notice provisions effective for all protected health information it maintains. Any changes will be posted on the website and a paper copy will be available to you on request.
Complaints and Reporting Violations
You may complain to Crossroads if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated under HIPAA by filing a complaint in writing with its Assistant Executive Director. You may also complain to the Office of Civil Rights, United States Department of Health and Human Services and/or the Office of Substance Abuse, State of Maine. You will not be retaliated against for filing such a complaint.
Violation of the Confidentiality Law by a program is a crime. Suspected violations of the Confidentiality Law may be reported to the United States Attorney in the district where the violation occurs.
For further information, please contact:
Crossroads Privacy Officer
71 US Route 1, Suite E
Scarborough, ME 04074
About the Crossroads Blog
The Crossroads blog is written and maintained by Crossroads, a nonprofit behavioral health treatment facility with programs in Scarborough, Portland, Kennebunk and Windham, Maine. The content in this blog is provided for personal, educational and informational purposes only. You should seek the advice of a professional if you have questions or concerns regarding your particular situation.
All opinions expressed by users of this site are expressed strictly in their individual capacities, and not as representatives of Crossroads. The comments on the blog are the sole responsibility of the individual who posted it. Crossroads makes no representations regarding the accuracy, timeliness or completeness for any particular purpose of any material contained in this blog and is not liable, under any circumstances and in any way, for any errors or omissions, loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of use of any content posted on this site. By using this blog, you agree that you must evaluate and bear all risks associated with the use of any content, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of such content.
Submission of Comments to the Crossroads Blog
All comments made on the Crossroads blog are monitored by the blog administrator. Each comment will be held for a brief moderation period before being posted to the site. Monitoring each comment before it is made public will help to ensure the confidentiality of the readers of the blog and that no inappropriate material will be published. Crossroads also has the right in its sole discretion to remove any content that it considers to violate this paragraph.
We understand that many of the readers of this blog would like to remain anonymous and ask that you do not use the first and last names of other people in your comments.