Consumer Privacy Notice

Your Privacy Rights

  1. Under HIPAA you have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. Meridian may not use or disclose any information that you have restricted except as necessary in a medical emergency or as required by law.
  2. You have the right to request that we communicate with you by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation from you. For example: you may wish us to call you at different telephone number.
  3. You have the right to inspect your record. A fee may be assessed dependent upon the volume of records requested. Meridian must respond to your request within 30 days.
  4. You have the right, with some exceptions to amend health care information maintained in our records. All requests for amendments must be made in writing. Meridian must respond to your request within 60 days.
  5. You have the right to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your health-related information made by Meridian during the six years prior to your request (not including disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003). We are required to provide a listing of all disclosures except the following: for your treatment, billing and collection of payment, health care operations made to or requested by you or that you authorized, occurring as a result of permitted uses and disclosures made to individuals involved in your care, allowed by law or if the information released did not identify you.
  6. You also have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice.

 

Complaints and Reporting Violations

You may file a complaint with Meridian and/or your Managed Care Organization and/or the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you feel that your privacy rights have been violated under HIPAA.

If you choose to file a complaint, we will not take any action against you or change our treatment with you in any way. To file a complaint with Meridian, document your complaint in writing along with your full name, address, and phone number. A Client Problem Resolution form can be used for this purpose.

 

Meridian's Duties

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices. We are required to abide by the terms of this notice. We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice. The current notice is available upon request.

Our Pledge To You

The privacy of your medical information is important to us. We understand that your medical information is personal and we are committed to protecting it. We create a record of the care and services you receive at our organization. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice will tell you about the ways we may use and share medical information about you. This notice also describes your rights and certain duties we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.

For further information regarding your Privacy Rights please contact the Privacy Officer at 828-631-3973.

General Information

Meridian Behavioral Health Services (Meridian) has access to your medical information in the following ways:

  1. Meridian is a provider of care for you in one of our outpatient centers or in a community-based service.
  2. Meridian staff at any of our locations may assess, manage, authorize, and/or monitor your care as well as link you with community resources.
  3. Meridian staff will be the billing/claims administrator for the services you receive at Meridian.
  4. Meridian will provide and maintain a record of all services that you receive.

Information regarding your health care, including payment for health care is protected by these federal laws:

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 & 164 and Confidentiality Law, 42, C.F.R. Part 2

In the state of North Carolina the General Statutes 122 C also protects your information. Under these laws, Meridian may not disclose to any person outside our agency that you are a client, nor may we disclose any information identifying you as a client except as permitted by federal and state law.

Meridian must obtain your written authorization before we can disclose information about you for payment purposes. For example, we must obtain your written consent before we can disclose information to your health insurer in order for Meridian to be paid for services. If you do not authorize us to release information to your insurance company, full payment will be required at the time of service. Meridian may use and disclose your protected health information for health care operations, some of which are described here. Within our offices, clinical staff, are authorized to review medical records for the purposes of providing client care and treatment and facilitating service authorization and utilization review. Support and billing staff are authorized to review protected health information for the purposes of carrying out their routine jobs. Staff members conducting quality management activities such as individual case reviews and complaint resolution may access protected health information. Protected information may also be accessed by student interns who have signed a confidentiality agreement with us and are working with Meridian staff members to practice and improve their skills.

Under state and federal laws, no one can share information with another about the services you receive without your consent. Meridian will only share the minimum information necessary for coordination of care and services, services are not contingent upon such consent, unless treatment is court ordered. These same laws, however, allow us to share information under the following conditions:

  1. If you are under 18, your parents may be informed about your care when it is in your best interest and not considered to be harmful.
  2. If you have a court assigned advocate to work on your behalf, the advocate may review your record.
  3. If we are ordered by a court to release your record.
  4. If our attorney needs to see your file because of a law suit, a commitment proceeding, or guardianship proceeding.
  5. If, in your best interest, to file a petition for involuntary commitment, competency or guardianship purposes.
  6. To fulfill responsibilities for the evaluation, management, supervision and treatment of commitment for outpatient treatment.
  7. If you are involuntarily committed and we need to share information about you in order to manage your care.
  8. If you become imprisoned we may share your file with prison officials.
  9. If there is a medical emergency we may share information with another professional treating you.
  10. If your care is transferred to another program or facility.
  11. Upon request, and if determined that disclosure is in your best interest, we may share admission/discharge information with your next of kin/designee.
  12. We may share information within Meridian to others involved with your care and with the physician or psychologist that referred you.
  13. To establish financial benefits when there is reason to believe that you are eligible for financial benefits.
  14. To ensure treatment is provided in accordance with advance instruction for mental health care.
  15. To coordinate care within Meridian or with a provider of support services when there is written agreement that the provider will safeguard and not further share your information.
  16. If we believe you are a danger to yourself or to others or if there is likelihood of a felony or violent misdemeanor to be committed. 

Before we can use or disclose any information about you in a manner not described in the items above we must obtain your specific written authorization. Any such written authorization may be revoked by you in writing except to the extent action has already been taken.

Meridian may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. If you choose not to be contacted by us via telephone, letters or messages advise your service provider.

Send A Complaint / Report Violations

 
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