HIPAA / Privacy

Best Care Employee Assistance Programs Notice of Privacy Practices

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

This Notice applies to the following programs or services that are affiliated as part of Methodist Health System, Best Care Employee Assistance Program (Best Care EAP), and share similar information practices:

  • Methodist Health System  – (402) 354-6863
  • Best Care Employee Assistance Program – (402) 354-8000 / (800) 801-4182
  • Substance Abuse Expert Services – (402) 354-8000 / (800) 801-4182
  • Nebraska Licensee Assistance Program – (402) 354-8055 / (800) 851-2336
  • Community Counseling Program – (402) 354-6891

        Privacy Contact – (402) 354-8096

The programs and services listed above will share your clinical information with each other, as necessary, to carry out counseling, payment and clinical services operations.

Understanding Your Record/Clinical Information

Every time you visit a Best Care Employee Assistance Program clinical service, a record of your visit is made. This record may include your presenting problems, background information, assessments, treatment, and plans for future clinical services. This information - your client record – is used to plan your clinical services.

Your Rights

Although your client record belongs to the program or service that compiled it, you do have certain rights with regard to your clinical information.

  • You have a right to expect that your clinical information will be kept secure and used only for legitimate purposes. 

  • You have a right to receive this privacy notice that explains how your clinical information may be used or disclosed.

  • You have a right to know who has seen your clinical information during the previous six years, and for what purpose. If you make additional requests for such an accounting during any 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee.

  • You have a right to view, and receive a copy or summary of, all of your clinical records in the format you request (electronic and/or paper), except for psychotherapy notes. Your request for a copy of your record must be in writing. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based copying or labor fee for such copy.

  • You have the right to ask for correction or amendment of anything in your records that you feel is in error. If we are unable to comply with your request we will notify you why in writing within 60 days. You also have the right to request that a statement of disagreement be included in your record. Your request must be in writing and include supporting documentation.

  • You have a right to request we not use or share certain clinical information you consider especially sensitive for counseling, payment or our clinical services operations. You also have the right to request that we not share information with your health insurer if you pay for a service or item out-of-pocket in full. However, we are not required to accommodate your request except as provided below.

  • You have the right to be notified of a breach of your unsecured protected clinical information.

  • You have the right to request confidential communications by asking us to contact you in a specific way or to send mail to a different address. We will honor all reasonable requests. 

  • You have the right to choose someone to act for you. If you give someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, we will confirm the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.

Your Choices

You have the right and choice to tell us to: 

  • Share information with your family, friends or others involved in your care; 

  • Share information in a disaster relief situation; 

  • Contact you for fundraising efforts.

Our Responsibilities

We also have certain responsibilities. These include:

  • Maintaining the privacy and security of your clinical record;

  • Providing you with a copy of this Notice;

  • Abiding by the terms of this Notice;

  • Notifying you if a breach occurs that my compromise your information; 

  • Not using or sharing your information other than as described in this Notice unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time; let us know in writing if you change your mind. 

We may revise this Notice as our information practices change. Any revision will be effective for all information in the record, regardless of whether it was gathered before or after the change took effect. However, before we change our practices, a copy of our new Notice will be posted at all Best Care EAP offices and on our web site. The effective date of our Notice will always appear at the end of the Notice.

Our Uses & Disclosures for Clinical Services, Payment and Program Operations

When state law requires us to obtain your written permission to use or disclose your information for your clinical services, payment or program operations, we will do so. However, there are also situations where we may use or disclose your information for clinical services, payment and program operations without your permission.

We may use or disclose your information for clinical purposes. 

For example: Information obtained by members of your clinical team will be documented in your record and used to determine the course of your clinical care. Your clinician, his/her clinical supervisor, and Best Care EAP management may communicate with one another personally and through your client record to coordinate your care. These exchanges may be done through electronic information networks.

We may use or disclose your information for payment purposes.

For example: We may provide your physician or other service provider with copies of reports that may help determine your future treatment.  We may also disclose your information to another service provider for its payment purposes or its health care operations.  We may send your bill to you or your insurance company.  Your bill may contain information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures and supplies used.  However, if you pay for a clinical service out-of-pocket in full and request in writing that we not provide information to your health insurer, we will comply with your request unless a law requires us to share that information with them.

We may use or disclose your clinical information for program operations purposes and internal business practices.

This information is used in our ongoing efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of the clinical services we provide.

Other Disclosures That May be Made Without Your Authorization

Unless we are otherwise restricted from doing so, we may also use or disclose your information for the following purposes without your authorization:

Affiliate Providers: Some services of our program are provided through contractual arrangements with affiliate providers. These include assessments, counseling, training, consultation, coaching, and other related services. When services are provided by an affiliate, we may exchange your information with each other so that we can provide the services that we have been asked to provide and they can bill us for those services. Our affiliate providers must use appropriate safeguards to protect your clinical information.

Business Associates: Some services of our organization are provided through contractual arrangements with business associates. When services are provided by a business associate, we may disclose your clinical information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do. In addition, we may disclose your clinical information to accrediting agencies and certain outside consultants. Our business associates must use appropriate safeguards to protect your clinical information.

Public Health: When required or permitted by law, we may disclose your clinical information to public health or legal authorities responsible for preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability or performing other public health functions. In addition, we may disclose your clinical information in order to avert a serious threat to health or safety.

Specialized governmental functions: We may disclose your clinical information for military and veteran’s activities, national security and intelligence activities, and similar special governmental functions as required or permitted by law.

Law enforcement: We may disclose your clinical information for law enforcement purposes as required or permitted by law or in response to a valid subpoena, court order or other binding authority.

Disclosures required by law: We may use or disclose your clinical information as required by law provided such use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of such law.

Health Oversight Agencies: We may disclose your health information to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority or attorney involved in health oversight activities.

Judicial and Administrative Proceedings: We may disclose your clinical information for judicial or administrative proceedings as required or permitted by law or in response to a valid subpoena, court order or other binding authority.

For More Information or to Report a Problem

If you have questions or would like additional information, you may contact Best Care EAP’s Privacy Contact at the phone number listed at the beginning of this Notice or the Methodist Health System (MHS) Privacy Officer (402) 354-6863. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Privacy Contact, with the MHS Privacy Officer or with the Office of Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Effective Date: October 1, 2016