STEPS - Client Notice of Privacy Practices

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT CLIENTS MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

STEPS is required by law to maintain the privacy of certain health care information about our patients. The law also requires health care providers like STEPS to give you a Notice like this one and to follow its standards.  STEPS and Your Protected Health Care Information - As a part of our day-to-day activities, STEPS may need to use and disclose (share) your protected health care information for several purposes without first getting your written approval. Those purposes include:

  • Your treatment. For example, STEPS might discuss your condition and medications with your pharmacist.

  • Payment for your treatment. For example, STEPS may need to discuss your condition and the treatments STEPS provided to you with your insurance company.

  • STEPS operations. For example, appropriate STEPS staff must discuss your condition in order to provide you proper treatment.

  • STEPS may contact you based upon your protected health care information. For example, STEPS may call to arrange your appointments, provide you with information about new medications, treatments, benefits and services that are available to you, and also to raise funds for STEPS.

  • STEPS may provide information to government officials who oversee health care or are working on threats to public safety from unsafe products, diseases, abuse, neglect, domestic violence and other crimes.

  • STEPS may provide information to licensed researchers who are under strict rules regarding how they use and disclose protected health care information. Those researchers, as an example, may use the information about patients with your condition for a study to improve ways to combat diseases.

  • Treatment, payment, enrollment, or eligibility for benefits is not contingent upon authorization.

  • Information disclosed via the authorization may be potentially subject to re-disclosure by the recipient and no longer protected by the federal code.

No other uses and disclosures of your protected health care information will occur without your written authorization. And, if you sign such an authorization, you have the right to cancel it at any time.

Your Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Care Information - Under the law, you have several rights that STEPS is committed to upholding. Those rights include:

  • The right to request restrictions on some of the ways STEPS uses and disclosures your information. These restrictions can go beyond the restrictions already in the law. However, STEPS may not always agree to implement these additional restrictions.

  • The right to receive confidential communications. While STEPS cannot promise to communicate in every possible way patients might request, we will work with you to find a practical way of communicating with you in strict confidence if you wish.

  • The right to inspect and get copies of your health care information held by STEPS by making a request in writing. STEPS, however, may charge a reasonable fee to cover only the cost of providing this information.

  • The right to request that STEPS amend or correct information about you. To make such a change, STEPS will ask you to make the request in writing with a description of the reason you want your record changed. STEPS may not always agree to such requests.

  • The right to a list of STEPS disclosures of your protected health care information that were not authorized by you and the disclosures that were unrelated to treatment, payment and STEPS operations.
     

If you have any questions or complaints about the way STEPS handles your protected health care information or if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, contact the STEPS Privacy Officer, Sue Harmon, at (407) 522-2144 or in person. You may also contact Central Florida Cares Health System's Risk Manager at (407) 985-3568 or the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Please note that there will be no retaliation against you for filing a complaint or making requests regarding your health care information, or for disagreeing with STEPS related decisions.

STEPS may need to change its privacy practices from time to time. Before making such changes, however, STEPS will modify this Notice and begin distributing it to patients when they are treated by STEPS. These new practices will then apply to all information held by STEPS. At any time, anyone has a right to get a paper copy of the latest version of this Notice by asking a STEPS staff member.

SPECIALIZED TREATMENT, EDUCATION AND PREVENTION SERVICES, INC. (STEPS)