Treatment Coordination and Advocacy (TC&A) is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of your personal and mental health information (PMHI). We are also mandated by federal and state law to assure that this protection occurs. The following notice outlines our privacy practices, legal duties and your rights concerning your PMHI. We are required by law to provide you with a copy of this notice. We must follow the terms of this notice which takes effect on April 14, 2003. Amendments to this notice may be made in writing by TC&A as laws and or policies change.
TC&A keeps medical records for each client that contracts for our services for a period of seven (7) years after the commencement of services. Medical Records consist of a client’s PMHI and may include but are not limited to name, demographic information, referral information, assessments, evaluations, progress notes, treatment plan, medical and medication protocols, continuing care plan and financial/payment information. These records are necessary to provide you with the best interdisciplinary care, continuing care and are required by state licensing mandates.
Treatment: Your personal and mental health information (PMHI) may be disclosed to any Treatment Coordination and Advocacy staff member as needed to provide you with the best and most comprehensive services possible. Any and all personal or mental health information will only be disclosed to non-TC&A related staff when TC&A has obtained the express written consent of the client, except when required by law.
Payment: There may be instances when payment for treatment services will require disclosure of your PMHI. This is most common when payment is made by a third party such as an insurance company, workman’s compensation, another family member or your personal financial officer. Your PMHI will only be disclosed with your express written permission. It is important to know however that your refusal to give such permission may lead to non payment by that third party as without your written consent/ authorization, we will be unable to discuss payment for your treatment services with any third party.
Healthcare Operations: Treatment Coordination and Advocacy may use and/or disclose your PMHI for healthcare operations such as audits by The New Mexico Department of Mental Health, licensing issues, quality assurance, trainings, accreditation, certification and credentialing activities.
Teaching/Training/Supervision: We may disclose personal information regarding TC&A clients in the context of teaching, trainings and the supervision of other members in the mental health field. Information will be disclosed only when the anonymity of the client can be guaranteed.
Your Authorization: Although your medical record is the physical property of TC&A you have the right to review and receive a copy of your medical record. A written consent/ authorization signed by the TC&A client for such medical records must be obtained prior to the copying and or delivery of those records to that client. You may also request that your PMHI be disclosed to any person or agency that you choose for any purpose. You must provide a written consent/authorization for that information to be disclosed even when such a request is made by you. Such consent is valid for one year from the date originally signed. You have the right to revoke any consent/authorization at any time.
Disclosure to Family and Friends: Only the PMHI that you have specified will be disclosed and only to those that you have provided written consent/authorization for. In the event of your incapacity or under emergency circumstances, we will disclose your PMHI to that person you had previously designated as your “Emergency Contact Person(s)”. We will use our professional judgment to disclose reasonable information on an “as needed” basis.
As required by Law: We may use or disclose your PMHI when we are required by law. Treatment Coordination staff are mental health workers and are Mandate Reporters. This law requires us to report to the appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you or another human being may be the victim or offender of abuse, neglect, exploitation, domestic violence or other violent crimes. We may disclose your PMHI to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others.
The State of New Mexico defines the following terms as:
- Abuse: Any act or failure to act performed intentionally, knowingly or recklessly that causes or is likely to cause harm to a resident, including but not limited to:
- Physical contact that harms or is likely to harm a resident of LHC.
- Inappropriate use of a physical restraint, isolation or medication that harms or is likely to harm a resident.
- Inappropriate use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication, or isolation as punishment or in conflict with a physicians order.
- Medically inappropriate conduct that causes or is likely to cause physical harm to a resident.
- Medically inappropriate conduct that causes or is likely to cause great psychological harm to a resident.
- An unlawful act, a threat or menacing conduct directed toward a resident that results or might reasonable be expected to result in fear or emotional or mental distress to a resident.
- Neglect: Subject to the resident’s right to refuse treatment and subject to the caregiver’s right to exercise sound medical discretion, the grossly negligent failure:
- To provide any treatment, service, care, medication or item that is necessary to maintain the health or safety of a resident.
- To take any reasonable precaution that is necessary to prevent damage to the health or safety of a resident.
- To carry out a duty to supervise properly or control the provision of any treatment, care, goods, service or medication necessary to maintain the health or safety of a resident.
- Exploitation: An act or process, performed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, of using a resident’s money or property for another person’s profit, advantage or benefit. Exploitation includes but is not limited to:
- Manipulating the resident by whatever mechanism to give money or property to any facility staff or management member.
- Misappropriation or misuse of monies belonging to a resident or the unauthorized sale, transfer or use of a resident’s property.
- Loans of any kind from a resident to a facility staff, operator, or families of staff or operator.
- Accepting monetary or other gifts from a resident or their family with a value in excess of $25.00 or gifts which exceed a total value of $300.00 in one year. All gifts received by LHC operators, their families or staff of LHC must be documented and acknowledged by the person giving the gift and the recipient. Exception: Testamentary gifts such as wills, are not, per se, considered financial exploitation.
To request that Treatment Coordination and Advocacy place additional restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your information: We are not required by law to agree with your request however, whenever possible as to not cause undue hardship to the flow of business of TC&A we will honor such requests.
To obtain a copy of this notice of Treatment Coordination and Advocacy’s Privacy Practices upon request: All TC&A clients are given a copy of this notice upon contract and are asked to sign that copy to acknowledge they have seen it. Further, clients are given their own copy to keep so that they may review it at any time.
To Request a copy of your medical record: This right is not absolute if TC&A believes that such access would cause harm, we can deny such a request. You do not have the right of access in the following instances:
- When information was compiled in reasonable anticipation of or for use in civil, criminal or administrative actions or proceedings.
- When information was obtained from someone other than a healthcare provider under a promise of confidentiality and the access required would be reasonably likely to reveal the source of the information.
- When the records were created by a treatment facility or mental health professional that is not a TC&A employee.
There are other situations in which Treatment Coordination and Advocacy may deny you access to your medical record. If so, TC&A is required to provide you with a review if the decision denying such access. Reviewable grounds for denial include but are not limited to:
- When a licensed TC&A employee has determined, in their professional judgment that access is likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the client or another person.
- When the request is made by the client’s personal representative and a licensed TC&A employee has determined that such access is likely to cause substantial harm to the client or another person.
- When the proper written consents/authorization have not been obtained.
For these reviewable grounds, another licensed professional must review the decision within 60 days. Their decision will be upheld.
In addition to providing you your rights as detailed above TC&A is required to:
Maintain the privacy of your PMHI: We will do this by the implementation of reasonable and appropriate physical, administrative and technical safeguards.
Provide you with this notice: As to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the personal and private information we obtain about you during the course of your contract with Treatment Coordination and Advocacy.
Abide by the terms of this notice.
Train Treatment Coordination and Advocacy employees on our privacy and confidentiality policies.
Implement a disciplinary plan: Treatment Coordination and Advocacy has a course if disciplinary action for those TC&A employees who breach our privacy/confidentiality policies. And if such a breach occurs, to lessen any resulting harm this breach may have caused.
Treatment Coordination and Advocacy will not use or disclose your personal and mental health information without your written consent/ authorization.
Maintain an account of any non-routine disclosures and uses of your medical records over the past 6 years beginning on April 14, 2003 within 60 days of such disclosures. Information provided will include name and address of who received your PMHI, a description of the information disclosed, and a statement of the purpose of such disclosure.
Treatment Coordination and Advocacy does not need to provide an account for:
- Disclosures to you.
- Disclosures authorized by you.
- Partially de-identified data used for research, education, public health or health care operations.
- For the facility directory or to persons involved in your care such as outpatient therapists, psychiatrists or medical doctors.
- For national security or intelligence purposes, to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials under 164.512(K)(2) and (5)
- Disclosures that occurred before April 14, 2003.
Allow you to revoke your consent to use or disclose your PMHI at any time except to the extent that we have previously taken action.
If you have questions, would like further information or believe your privacy rights have been violated you may contact our Privacy Officer: Amy Lashway, MA, LPC, NCC, at PO Box 29075 Santa Fe, NM 87592, 888-301-9425.
Grievances should be made in writing and be addressed to the attention of Treatment Coordination and Advocacy’s Privacy Officer. You also have the right to file a grievance with The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at Region IV Office for Civil Rights, 1301 Young St. Suite 1169, Dallas, TX 75202, 214-767-4056. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a grievance with us or The USDHHS.