When seeking alcohol and drug rehab treatment, laws are enacted to keep your treatment completely confidential, and all records protected as private information. The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects sensitive patient health information from being shared without a patient’s consent. The federal law evolved to incorporate privacy and security rules around Protected Health Information (PHI), in personal medical records. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established HIPAA’s national standards with a Privacy Rule that all healthcare providers must abide by that includes health plans, billing departments, claims processing centers and utilization reviews.
Additionally, everyone treated for a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) has additional protection under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 42 Part 2. This safeguards a patient’s SUD information, which cannot be offered without consent. Upon enrolling in our treatment center at Vegas Stronger, each patient is provided with HIPAA paperwork to be read and signed, confirming that every client is given the proper documentation and knows his or her rights under HIPAA regulations.
Vegas Stronger offers consent forms to each patient if one decides to share their health information with others besides our clinical team and are available at any time. This may include family, friends, doctors, and lawyers. If a signed consent form is drafted, those contacts can call our treatment center and receive short updates about your time and progress in treatment. Consent forms are very specific as to what health data can be disclosed and for what purpose and can be personalized per contact; they can be altered by the patient at any time to either add information, take off specific information, or be retracted to cease communication between any additional party.
If a client does not give anyone consent on their protected SUD health information, then no confidential information will ever be given at any time to any outside parties. Consent forms can also be revoked at any time as well, at the discretion of the patient. All our healthcare providers and staff are specifically trained in HIPAA mandates and 42 CFR Part 2 regulations.
HIPAA laws protect doctor-patient confidentiality and privilege, that includes all communications, including concerns, worries, and personal information. All information shared between the two parties is protected. For example, if one tells their doctors that they are ingesting alcohol or drugs in an unhealthy way, the doctor can not report the individual. The doctor involved cannot report your habits to law enforcement, as HIPAA protects from disclosing all information to non-treatment entities.
The doctor involved maybe offer recommendations to treatment methods or therapeutic modalities, but they cannot send you to rehab or jail for using illegal substances or admitting to driving drunk, for example. Doctors do have the authority to send patients to an acute care hospital for an evaluation if a medical emergency occurs under their care.
The Enforcement Final Rule of Law calls for penalties on doctors, health organizations and other associated parties who knowingly or unknowingly disclose Protected Health Information without a person’s consent. Both the State Attorney General and the Department of Health Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) can issue the violation, that can come in either a monetary form, a corrective action or both depending on the severity of the breach of information.
Here at Vegas Stronger, we absolutely abide by HIPAA laws, regulations, and national standards in all our departments, by protecting all confidential information. Under no circumstance will a patient’s protected information ever be offered to any third party without the signed consent of each patient that walks through our door. Kindly contact us for any additional needed information on HIPAA laws and practices at email@example.com.