The decision to enter a treatment program is a significant action for any chemical dependent. Said effort clearly demonstrates that they recognize the problem is beyond their control, possess a strong desire to overcome the ailment, and are willing to accept professional help to achieve such aims.
That said, some healing subjects might offer reluctance to seek help. One such fear could lie in the belief that a treatment facility will discuss the patient’s past transgressions with police or other authorities.
Drug rehab centers place the well-being of their residents first. After all, their success rests heavily on their staff’s capacity to ensure that those under their purview receive top-level care and beat the dependency struggles plaguing them.
With said facts at hand, numerous establishments create privacy policies. These mandates place stringent guidelines on the personal information and other data such facilities are permitted to share with outside parties. Additionally, said entities are bound by certain federal legal provisions.
Typically, each individual facility authors its own set of privacy regulations. However, basically, rehab centers are not permitted to share private information with external entities unless the patient grants said establishments permission to take said action.
Drug treatment clinics are categorized as health industry establishments. Therefore, such destinations are governed by important federal legislation known as the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This initiative, which is often recognized by the abbreviation HIPAA, was passed by Congress with designs on safeguarding personal information.
Among many other provisions, HIPAA protects the private data of any individual who has been diagnosed with a chemical dependency, applied for assistance to address said problem, or received treatment for the condition. Moreover, on the rare exception any information must be disclosed, it is done so to the absolute bare minimum.
Furthermore, to be HIPAA compliant, medical facilities, treatment centers, or any other establishments legally and medically qualified to offer drug rehab are required to:
- Institute precautions geared towards preventing data breaches
- Carefully categorizing and filing sensitive patient information
- Thoroughly training employees the best safekeeping practices
- Invest in and continually update software and other equipment containing safeguarding programs
Above all, entities meeting HIPAA compliance will always author a documented outline of said policies and readily distribute this information to current and prospective patients for such parties to carefully review and understand.
Acceptable Uses Of Information
Patients in treatment facilities can share personal information if they do desire. However, a rehab establishment cannot transmit such data without said subject’s oral or written authority.
Occasionally, extenuating circumstances might arise. Such situations include medical emergencies where a patient’s health and potentially their life hangs in the balance, if the patient committed a crime inside the facility in question and staffers wish to cooperate with police in their investigation of said act, and if the patient is urged to comply with a court-order mandating the release of specific information.
The Confidentiality Of Alcohol And Drug Abuse Patient Records
This legislation, which was introduced in 1975 and revised in 1987, implicitly prohibits treatment centers from releasing information that could in any way connect a dependent with a history of excessive substance or alcohol usage without the patient’s consent. Exceptions to this act exist and are similar to those established in HIPAA.
Steps Patients Can Take To Protect Themselves
Policy violations are taken quite seriously. The compromising of personal information can result in severely adverse personal, financial, and legal outcomes for those impacted on all levels.
That said, patients are firmly encouraged to take a proactive stance in protecting their personal data. Recommended actions include:
Requesting Individual Policies
It is important to reiterate that each substance treatment clinics have likely authored their own specific mandates. Current or prospective patients are urged to read over and familiarize themselves with said regulations.
Should the subject in question not understand any of the information presented, they are implored to ask questions. Facility representatives are under the legal obligation to be honest and forthright.
A patient possesses the legal authority and is encouraged to take action if they believe their rights were violated.
Reaching Out To Us
Our New Jersey-based facility understands how sensitive a matter recovery is and institutes all proper safeguards when protecting a resident’s personal information. We are fully compliant with all regulations and always open and honest with our patients regarding our polices and regulations.
Moreover, we boast an impressive track record helping chemical dependents defeat said illness and recapture joyful, productive lives. Call us at 732-392-7311.