We are required by federal and state laws and regulations to maintain the privacy of your protected health information. We are also required to give you a Notice about our Privacy Practices, our responsibilities and your rights concerning your protected health information. We must follow the Privacy Practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. We reserve the right to change our Privacy Practices and the terms of this Notice, provided such changes are permitted by laws and regulations. We reserve the right to make changes in our Privacy Practices and the new terms of our Notice effective for all protected health information. If we make a significant change in our Privacy Practices, we will amend this notice and make the new Notice available upon request. You may request a copy of our Privacy Notice at any time.
If you have questions, please contact our Privacy Official at 713-275-5057 or The Menninger Clinic, 12301 S. Main Houston, TX 77035.
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By accessing this site, you agree to be bound by all terms and conditions below, which are intended to be fully effective and binding upon all users. Menninger offers this website for informational and communication purposes only. The information is not intended to serve as advice or a consultation on health or mental health and should not be used for diagnosis. If you need urgent care, please call your local hospital emergency room.
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Notice of Privacy Practice
Effective date: April 2, 2012
THE MENNINGER CLINIC NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Purpose: This notice tells you how The Menninger Clinic uses and discloses your medical information and your rights regarding your medical information.
Applicability: The Menninger Clinic and its physicians, allied health professionals, employees, and trainees follow the privacy practices described in this Notice. The Menninger Clinic keeps your mental and physical health information in records that will be maintained and protected in a confidential manner, as required by law. The individuals identified above will share your health information with each other for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations that will be described in this Notice.
PROTECTION OF HEALTH CARE INFORMATION AS A PROVIDER OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
The law requires us to protect the privacy of your health information. We will not use or let other people see your health information without your permission except in the ways we tell you in this notice. This protection applies to all heath information we have about you, no matter when you received services. We will not tell anyone you are receiving, or have ever received services from The Menninger Clinic, unless the law allows us to disclose that information.
We will ask for your written authorization to use or disclose your health information except for those times when we are allowed to use or disclose this information without your permission, as explained in this notice. If you give us permission to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke it at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will not be liable for using or disclosing your health information before you revoked your permission.
If you are being treated for alcohol or drug abuse, your records are protected by federal law. Violation of these laws that protect alcohol or drug abuse treatment records is a crime and suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations.
USE AND DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
The Menninger Clinic may use your protected health information for purposes of providing treatment, obtaining payment for treatment, and conducting health care operations.
A. Treatment. We may use and disclose your protected health information to a physician and/or other healthcare providers for providing treatment to you. This includes coordination of your care with other health care providers, health plans, referral sources and for continuum of care.
B. Payment. Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for the services that we provide. This may include certain communications to your health insurer to get approval for the treatment that we recommend. For example, if a hospital admission is recommended, we may need to disclose information to your health insurer to get prior approval for the hospitalization. We may also disclose protected health information to your insurance company to determine whether you are eligible for benefits or whether a particular service is covered under your health plan. In order to get payment for your services, we may also need to disclose your protected health information to your insurance company to demonstrate the medical necessity of the services or, as required by your insurance company, for utilization review. We may also disclose patient information to another provider involved in your care for the other provider's payment activities.
C. Operations. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, for our own health care operations in order to facilitate the function of The Menninger Clinic and to provide quality care to all patients. Health care operations include such activities as:
- Quality assessment and performance improvement activities.
- Employee review functions.
- Training programs, including those in which students, trainees, or practitioners in health care learn under supervision.
- Accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
- Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and maintaining compliance programs.
- Business management and general administrative activities.
In certain situations, we may also disclose patient information to another provider or health plan for their health care operations.
USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT ARE PERMITTED AND/OR MANDATORY
Your medical information may be used for the following purposes:
A. As Required by Law. We will disclose your protected health information when we are required to do so by any Federal, State or local law. An example would be a request by the Department of Health and Human Services to disclose your information to evaluate our compliance with the privacy regulations.
B. Public Health Activities. We may disclose your protected health information to public health agencies for the purpose of preventing, controlling disease, injury or disability; to report vital events such as births or deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, reactions to medications; or to facilitate product recalls.
C. Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose your protected health information to a health oversight agency that is authorized by law to conduct health oversight activities including audits; investigations; inspections; licensure and certification surveys. We will not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information are not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.
D. Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. We may disclose your protected health information to courts or administrative agencies that have the authority to hear and resolve lawsuits or disputes. We may disclose your information pursuant to a court order, a subpoena, a discovery request, or other lawful process issued by a judge or other person involved in the dispute. This will only occur after efforts have been made to notify you of the request for disclosure and or to obtain an order protecting your health information.
E. Law Enforcement Purposes. We may disclose your protected health information to law enforcement officials in response to a request, as required, to report criminal activity or to respond to a valid subpoena, court order, warrant, summons or similar process.
F. Coroners, Medical Examiners, Funeral Directors and for Organ Donation and Tissue Donation. We may disclose your protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, to determine cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose protected health information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties. Protected health information may be used and disclosed for organ, eye or tissue donation purpose.
G. Research. We may use or disclose your protected health information for research when the use or disclosure for research has been approved by an institutional review board or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and research protocols to address the privacy of your protected health information.
Any use or disclosure of your health information that is done for the purpose of identifying qualified participants will be conducted at our facility. In most instances, we will ask for your permission to use or disclose your health information if the researcher will have access to your name, address, or other identifying information.
H. If There is A Serious Threat To Health Or Safety. We may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, use or disclose your protected health information if we believe that such use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or minimize a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.
I. Specified Government Functions. In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize the provider to use or disclose your protected health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans activities, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations, correctional institutions, and law enforcement custodial situations.
J. Worker's Compensation. The provider may release your health information to comply with worker's compensation laws or similar programs.
K. Fundraising activities. We may use limited medical information about you (name, address, date of services) to contact you in an effort to raise money for The Menninger Clinic. You will have an opportunity to refuse to receive these communications.
USES AND DISCLOSURES TO FAMILY AND/OR PERSONAL FRIENDS
We may disclose your protected health information to your family member or a close personal friend if they are involved in your care or who help pay for your care. We may make such disclosures when we have your signed authorization to do so.
You have the following rights regarding your health information:
A. Right to inspect and copy your protected health information. You may inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information. A designated record set contains medical and billing records and any other records that your physician and Menninger use for making decisions about you.
We may deny your request to inspect or copy your protected health information if, in our professional judgment, it is determined that the access requested is likely to endanger your life or safety or that of another person, or that it is likely to cause substantial harm to another person referenced within the information. You have the right to request a review of this decision.
To inspect your medical information, you must submit a written request to the Director, Health Information Management Services (HIMS). If you request a copy of your information, we may charge you a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other costs incurred by us in complying with your request.
B. Right to request a restriction on uses and disclosures of your protected health information. You may request limitations on the medical information The Menninger Clinic uses or discloses for treatment, payment, or health care operations, but The Menninger Clinic is not required to agree to your request. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
C. Right to confidential communications. You may request to receive communications in a certain way or at a certain location, but you must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
D. Right to request amendment. If you believe that the medical information The Menninger Clinic has about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may request an amendment on the form provided by The Menninger Clinic, which requires specific information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal.
E. Right to an accounting of disclosures. You may request a list of the disclosures of your medical information that have been made by The Menninger Clinic to persons or entities in the past six years. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. We are also not required to account for disclosures that you requested, disclosures that you agreed to by signing an authorization form, or certain other disclosures we are permitted to make without your authorization. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six years. We will provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.
F. Right to obtain a paper copy of this notice. Upon request, we will provide a separate paper copy of this notice even if you have already received a copy of the notice or have agreed to accept this notice electronically.
Menninger is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with this Notice of our duties and privacy practices. We are required to abide by terms of this Notice. We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain. If Menninger changes its Notice, we will provide a copy of the revised Notice upon request from you.
You have the right to express complaints to Menninger and to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated. You may complain to Menninger by contacting the Privacy Official verbally or in writing, using the contact information below. We encourage you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be penalized or retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint. You must file your complaint within 180 days of when you knew or should have known about the event that you think violated your privacy rights.
Contact the Privacy Officer if:
- You have a privacy complaint.
- You have questions about this notice.
- You wish to request restrictions on uses and disclosures for treatment, payment or health care operations.
- You wish to obtain a form to exercise your rights as described above.
Contact the Privacy Officer at:
The Menninger Clinic
ATTN: Privacy Official
12301 S. Main St.
Houston, TX 77035