Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) requires each service provider agency to appoint a Client’s Rights Coordinator and alternate to be available to discuss concerns from consumers, family members or advocates regarding adherence to the following list of consumer’s rights. In addition, StarkMHAR appoints a Client’s Rights Coordinator for the system and has an established protocol for responding to concerns. If you would like further information, contact StarkMHAR’s Client’s Rights Coordinator/Ombudsman at 330-455-6644.
You may also file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you feel your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
Each person who receives services from a provider of the public mental health system has the following rights:
- The right to be treated with consideration and respect for personal dignity, autonomy and privacy.
- The right to service in a humane setting which is the least restrictive feasible as defined in the treatment plan;
- The right to be informed of one’s own condition, of proposed or current services, treatment or therapies and of the alternatives;
- The right to consent or refuse any service, treatment or therapy upon full explanation of the expected consequences of such consent or refusal. A parent or legal guardian may consent to or refuse any service, treatment or therapy on behalf of a minor client;
- The right to a current, written, individualized service plan that addresses one’s own mental health, physical health, social and economic needs, and that specifies the provision of appropriate and adequate services, as available, either directly or by referral;
- The right to active and informed participation in the establishment, periodic review and reassessment of the service plan;
- The right to freedom from unnecessary or excessive medication;
- The right to freedom from unnecessary restraint or seclusion;
- The right to participate in any appropriate and available agency service, regardless of refusal of one or more other services, treatments or therapies, or regardless of relapse from earlier treatment in that or another service, unless there is a valid and specific necessity which precludes and/or requires the client’s participation in other services. This necessity shall be explained to the client and written in the client’s current service plan;
- The right to be informed of and refuse any unusual or hazardous treatment procedures;
- The right to be advised of and refuse observation by techniques such as one-way mirrors, tape recorders, televisions, movies, or photographs;
- The right to have the opportunity to consult with independent treatment specialists or legal counsel, at one’s own expense;
- The right to confidentiality of communications and of all personally identifying information within the limitations and requirements for disclosure of various funding and /or certifying sources, state or federal statutes, unless release of information is specifically authorized by the client or parent or legal guardian of a minor client or court-appointed guardian of the person of an adult client in accordance with rule 5122:2-3-11 of the administrative code;
- The right to have access to one’s own psychiatric, medical or other treatment records, unless access to particular identified items of information is specifically restricted for that individual client for clear treatment reasons in the client’s treatment plan. “Clear treatment reasons” shall be understood to mean only severe emotional damage to the client such that dangerous or self-injurious behavior is an imminent risk. The person restricting the information shall explain to the client and other persons authorized by the client the factual information about the individual client that necessitates the restriction. The restriction must be renewed at least annually to retain validity. Any person authorized by the client has unrestricted access to all information. Clients shall be informed in writing of agency policies and procedures for viewing or obtaining copies of personal records;
- The right to be informed in advance of the reason(s) for discontinuance of service provision and to be involved in planning for the consequences of that event;
- The right to receive an explanation of the reasons for denial of service;
- The right to not be discriminated against in the provision of service on the basis of religion, race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, lifestyle, physical or mental handicap, developmental disability or inability to pay;
- The right to know the cost of services;
- The right to be fully informed of all rights;
- The right to exercise any and all rights without reprisal in any form including continued uncompromised access to service;
- The right to file a grievance;
- The right to have oral and written instructions for filing a grievance.
Clients of Alcohol and Drug Programs
Ohio Revised Code and The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services require that every alcohol and drug treatment program has a documented client’s rights policy, a client grievance procedure and a policy for maintaining, for at least two years from resolution, records of client grievances that include, at a minimum, the following:
(a) Copy of the grievance.
(b) Documentation reflecting process used and resolution/remedy of the grievance.
(c) Documentation, if applicable, of extenuating circumstances for extending the time period for resolving the grievance beyond twenty-one calendar days.
The rights of clients for each program shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- The right to be treated with consideration and respect for personal dignity,
- autonomy and privacy.
- The right to receive services in the least restrictive, feasible environment.
- The right to be informed of one’s own condition.
- The right to be informed of available program services.
- The right to give consent or to refuse any service, treatment or therapy.
- The right to participate in the development, review and revision of one’s own
- individualized treatment plan and receive a copy of it.
- The right of freedom from unnecessary or excessive medication, unnecessary
- physical restraint or seclusion.
- The right to be informed and the right to refuse any unusual or hazardous
- treatment procedures.
- The right to be advised and the right to refuse observation by others and by
- techniques such as one-way vision mirrors, tape recorders, video recorders,
- television, movies or photographs.
- The right to consult with an independent treatment specialist or legal counsel at
- one’s own expense.
- The right to confidentiality of communications and personal identifying
- information within the limitations and requirements for disclosure of client
- information under state and federal laws and regulations.
- The right to have access to one’s own client record in accordance with program
- The right to be informed of the reason(s) for terminating participation in a
- The right to be informed of the reason(s) for denial of a service.
- The right not to be discriminated against for receiving services on the basis of
- race, ethnicity, age, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or HIV
- infection, whether asymptomatic or symptomatic, or AIDS.
- The right to know the cost of services.
- The right to be informed of all client rights.
- The right to exercise one’s own rights without reprisal.
- The right to file a grievance in accordance with program procedures.
- The right to have oral and written instructions concerning the procedure for
- filing a grievance.
If you believe your rights have been violated, you may file a grievance with the following:
- The agency in which you received services
- Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery
- The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services
- The Ohio Legal Rights Services
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, civil rights regional office in Chicago
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The following information is available for you to understand how your medical information may be used and disclosed and how you can access your medical information as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
STARK COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH & ADDICTION RECOVERY
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective: September 23, 2013
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USEDAND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact:
OUR DUTIES REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
At Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery we understand that health information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting your health information and safeguarding that information against unauthorized use or disclosure.
When you receive services paid for in full or part by Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery, we receive health information about you. The information we receive may include, for example, eligibility, claims and payment information. We create a record of your enrollment in Ohio’s public mental health and addiction services system and maintain that record and records related to the services you receive in the public system and payment for those services. We may also receive information from your treatment provider related to your diagnosis, treatment, progress in recovery, and any major unexpected emergencies or crises you may experience to help StarkMHAR plan for and improve the quality of services paid for with StarkMHAR funds.
We are required by law to: 1) maintain the privacy of your health information; 2) give you Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information; 3) abide by the terms of the Notice that is currently in effect; and 4) notify you if there is a breach of your unsecured health information. This Notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose your health information. It also describes your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your health information.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
We may use or share your health information for such activities as conducting our internal board business known as health care operations, paying for services provided to you, communicating with your healthcare providers about your treatment, and for other purposes permitted or required by law, as described in more detail below.
Payment– We may use or disclose your health information for payment activities such as confirming your eligibility, paying for services, managing your claims, conducting utilization reviews and processing health care data.
Health Care Operations –We may use your health information for our internal health care operations such as to train staff, manage costs, conduct quality review activities, perform required business duties and make plans to better serve you and other community residents who may need mental health or substance abuse services. We may also disclose your health information to health care providers and other health plans for certain health care operations of those entities such as care coordination, quality assessment and improvement activities and health care fraud and abuse detection or compliance, provided that the entity has had a relationship with you and the information pertains to that relationship.
Treatment – We do not provide treatment but we may share your health information with your health care providers to assist in coordinating your care.
Other Uses and Disclosures – We may use or disclose your health information, in accordance with specific requirements, for the following purposes: To alert proper authorities if we reasonably believe that you may be a victim of abuse, neglect, domestic violence or other crimes; to reduce or prevent threats to public health and safety; for health oversight activities such as evaluations, investigations, audits, and inspections; to governmental agencies that monitor your services; for lawsuits and similar proceedings; for public health purposes such as to prevent the spread of a communicable disease; for certain approved research purposes; for law enforcement reasons if required by law or in regards to a crime or suspect; to correctional institutions in regards to inmates; to coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors (for decedents); as required by law; for specialized government functions such as military and veterans activities, national security and intelligence purposes, and protection of the President; for Workers’ Compensation purposes; for the management and coordination of public benefits programs; to respond to requests from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; for us to receive assistance from business associates that have signed an agreement requiring them to maintain the confidentiality of your health information; and for the purpose of raising funds to benefit StarkMHAR.
If you have a guardian or a power of attorney, we are also permitted to provide information to your guardian or attorney in fact.
Fundraising Activities – We may also use your health information to contact you to raise money as part of fundraising efforts, such as for assistance in passing levies. You have the right to opt-out of receiving such communications by notifying us, at the address below, that you do not wish to be contacted for such purposes.
USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT REQUIRE YOUR WRITTEN PERMISSION
We are prohibited from selling your health information, such as to a company that wants your information in order to contact you about their services, without your written permission.
We are prohibited from using or disclosing your health information for marketing purposes, such as to promote our services, without your written permission.
All other uses and disclosures of your health information not described in this Notice will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose your health information for the reasons covered by your written permission. We are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission.
PROHIBITED USES AND DISCLOSURES OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
If we use or disclose your health information for underwriting purposes, we are prohibited from using and disclosing any genetic information in your health information for such purposes.
POTENTIAL IMPACT OF OTHER LAWS
If any state or federal privacy law requires us to provide you with more privacy protections than those described in this Notice, then we must also follow that law in addition to HIPAA. For example, drug and alcohol treatment records generally receive greater protections under federal law.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
You have the following rights regarding your health information:
- Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations and to inform individuals involved in your care about that care or payment for that care. We will consider all requests for restrictions carefully but are not required to agree to any requested restrictions.*
- Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about health matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.
- Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to request access to certain health information we have about you. Under certain circumstances we may deny access to that information such as if the information is the subject of a lawsuit or legal claim or if the release of the information may present a danger to you or someone else. We may charge a reasonable fee to copy information for you.*
- Right to Amend. You have the right to request corrections or additions to certain health information we have about you. You must provide us with your reasons for requesting the change.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an accounting of the disclosures we make of your health information, except for those related to treatment, payment, our health care operations, and certain other purposes, such as if the information is the subject of a lawsuit or legal claim or if release of the information may present a danger to you or someone else. Your request must state the period of time desired for the accounting, which must be within the six years prior to your request. The first accounting is free but a fee will apply if more than one request is made in a 12-month period.*
- Right to a Paper Copy of Notice. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice. This Notice is also available on our web site: www.starkmhar.org, but you may contact us to obtain a paper copy.
To exercise any of your rights described in this paragraph, please contact the StarkMHAR Privacy Officer at the address or phone number listed below:
* To exercise rights marked with a star (*), your request must be made in writing. Please contact us if you need assistance with your request.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this Notice at any time. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice at the StarkMHAR Office and on our website at: www.starkmhar.org. Each Notice will contain an effective date on the first page in the top center. In addition, each time there is a change to our Notice, we will mail information about the revised Notice and how you can obtain a copy to the last known address we have for you in our plan enrollment file.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with StarkMHAR or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with StarkMHAR, contact the Privacy Officer at the address above. We will investigate all complaints and will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.