THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH, MENTAL HEALTH, 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.
I. Who We Are
This Notice describes the privacy practices of The People Concern, its physicians, nurses, therapists, case managers and other personnel. It applies to services provided to you at all The People Concern sites.
II. Our Privacy Obligations
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information (“Protected Health Information” or “PHI”) and to provide you with this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI. This Notice describes your rights and our obligations for using or disclosing your PHI and informs you about laws that provide special protections for your PHI. Some examples of PHI are: (1) information about your health condition; (2) geographic information (such as where you live or work); (3) demographic information (such as your gender, ethnicity or age); and (4) unique numbers that may identify you (such as you Social Security Number, your driver’s license or state certificate number or your phone number).
When we use or disclose your PHI, we are required to abide by the terms of this Notice (or other notice in effect at the time of the use or disclosure). Any revision or update to this notice will be available to you at each of our facilities, at your request. We are also required by law to notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured protected health information.
III. General Information
Information regarding your health care is protected by federal and state laws, including The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)1, and The Drug and Alcohol Confidentiality Regulations2 where applicable. Without your written permission, The People Concern may not disclose to a person outside The People Concern that you attend any of our programs, nor may The People Concern disclose any information regarding your health, mental health, substance use, or disclose any other PHI except as permitted by law. The People Concern will not use or disclose psychotherapy notes without your authorization unless permitted by law. With limited exceptions, we will not use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes without your authorization, and we will not sell your information without your authorization.
IV. Disclosures of PHI Allowed Without Your Authorization
Federal and State laws permit The People Concern to disclose information without your written authorization in the following situations:
- For treatment purposes, we may share your PHI with staff, interns and volunteers within our agency program(s) to coordinate and provide care and services;
- For payment purposes, we may share your PHI to submit requests for payment for services that we provide, e.g., to generate a health insurance claim and to collect invoices. If you are enrolled in a drug or alcohol abuse program, disclosure for payment purposes is prohibited without your authorization;
- For our healthcare operations, such as auditing and evaluation of our programs;
- For research – in most cases, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing your PHI with others in order to conduct research. However, under some circumstances, we may use and/or disclose your PHI without your authorization if we obtain approval through a special review process to ensure that research without your authorization poses minimal risk to your privacy. Under no circumstances, however, would we allow researchers to use your name or identity to identify you publicly;
- To our business associates, pursuant to a confidentiality agreement with these associates, who will have access to your PHI to perform functions on behalf of The People Concern. When information about you is disclosed to an external agency or business, we require a confidentiality agreement between them and The People Concern in which they promise not to share your information with any others;
- To comply with court orders or laws which we are required to follow;
- To report a crime committed on The People Concern premises or against The People Concern personnel;
- For medical emergencies, to medical personnel;
- To report suspected child, dependent adult or elder abuse or neglect to appropriate authorities. However, if you are enrolled in a drug or alcohol abuse program, we can report child, dependent adult and/or elder abuse without your authorization, but we cannot reveal that you are receiving services in a substance abuse program.
- If you are a danger to yourself or to others, if you are enrolled in an agency program, we may disclose your PHI to medical and/or law enforcement. If you are enrolled in a drug or alcohol abuse program and are deemed a danger to others, your PHI can only be disclosed as an anonymous report or in a way that does not disclose that you are in the program for treatment for drug or alcohol abuse problems;
- To a health oversight agency authorized to conduct audits, investigations and inspections of our facilities. These government agencies monitor the operation of the health care system, compliance with government regulatory programs and civil rights laws;
When we do disclose your information for the above purposes, only the specific information necessary for carrying out these functions will be disclosed.
V. Your Rights
Under HIPAA and under the Drug and Alcohol Confidentiality Regulations, you have the following rights regarding your PHI:
- The right to name a personal representative who may act on your behalf to control the privacy of your PHI. Parents and guardians will generally have the right to control the privacy of PHI about minors unless minors are permitted by law to act on their own behalf.
- The right to revoke your authorization. You may revoke any written authorization obtained in connection with your protected information, except if as ordered by the criminal justice system, you are enrolled in a Drug or Alcohol Abuse Program and the authorization was court-ordered. In cases where we have already taken action on the authorization and the revocation is allowable, the revocation will go into effect when The People Concern has received and processed a written revocation statement from you.
- The right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. The People Concern is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but if we do agree then we are bound by that agreement and may not use or disclose any information which you have restricted except as necessary in a medical emergency. If you want to request a restriction, please contact your service provider.
- The right to request that we communicate with you by alternative means or at an alternative location (such as by phone or by mail). The People Concern will accommodate such requests that are reasonable and will not request an explanation from you. If you want to request an alternate means of communications, please contact your service provider.
- The right to inspect and copy your own health information maintained by The People Concern. If you want to request access to your health information, you can request it of your service provider. We may deny your request for access under some circumstances, but you may request that such denial be reviewed.
If you are a parent or legal guardian of a minor, certain portions of the minor’s medical record may not be accessible to you. For example, records pertaining to health care services for which the minor can lawfully give consent; or the health care provider determines, in good faith, that access to the patient records requested by the representative would have a detrimental effect on the provider’s professional relationship with the minor patient or on the minor’s physical safety or psychological well-being.
- The right to request an amendment to your own health information maintained in The People Concern records. You may request an amendment to your health information from your service provider. However, we may deny your request when the information was not created by us, is not part of your records, or is accurate and complete.
- The right to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your own health information made by The People Concern during the six years prior to your request. The People Concern need not account for disclosures of your health information or account for use and disclosure of your PHI made for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. If you want to request an accounting of your health information, please contact your service provider.
- The right to receive a paper copy of this notice.
VI. Privacy Officer
For Further Information or if you have complaints. If you desire further information about your privacy rights, are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, or disagree with a decision that we made about access to your PHI, you may contact our Privacy Officer at:
Chief Compliance Officer
The People Concern
2116 Arlington Ave, STE 100
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Telephone Number: (323) 334-9000
You may also file written complaints with the Director, Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Upon request, the Privacy Officer will provide you with the correct address for the Director. We will not retaliate against you if you file a complaint with the Director or us.
VII. Revised Date and Duration of This Notice
- Effective Date. This Notice was effective on 8/20/2019, and was revised on 1/6/2023.
- Right to Change Terms of this Notice. We may change the terms of this Notice at any time. If we change this Notice, we may make the new notice terms effective for all Protected Health Information that we maintain, including any information created or received prior to issuing the new notice. If we change this Notice, we will post the new notice in waiting areas around The People Concern and on our Internet site at www.thepeopleconcern.org. You also may obtain any new notice by contacting your service provider.
VIII. Acknowledgement of Receipt of this Notice.
Please sign the attached form that will serve as an acknowledgement that you have received this Notice.
1 45 C.F.R. 160 and 164
2 42 C.F.R. Part 2