Accepting that you need help is the first and the right step towards sobriety. Easier said than done, right? You will have a lot of decisions to make along the way, and most require utmost confidentiality. With the stigma surrounding substance addiction treatment, many victims of substance abuse find it hard to seek professional treatment. In an attempt to secure their personal image, employment status, social respect, and dignity, many people continue to struggle with the addiction habit or fail tremendously while attempting self-treatment.
Understand that privacy and confidentiality are incredibly pivotal in the healthcare industry. Regardless of whether you are inquiring for admission vacancies at the rehab, providing information for enrollment for the addiction treatment program, or undergoing treatment and recovery, privacy must be incorporated throughout the process. Here’s how:
Laws that protect you
All drug rehabs in Florida are required to protect patient information as part of the institutional policy as well as mandated by law. As long as the federal government assists the practitioner or recovery center, all patient information must be confidential unless you, as the patient gives consent to disclose the records. If you are a patient at a rehab center, your patient records are secured under the following laws:
The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)
Enacted in 1996, the HIPPA law protects all your personal information and medical records at the drug rehab facility. Any practitioner providing treatment to an addict must adhere to the law. Staff members with access to these records must follow the HIPPA law as well. Your files can only be disclosed after issuing a written consent giving reasons and permissions to specific people. The law also protects minors who must provide written consent before releasing records and information to their guardians.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Privacy Law
Issued in 1975, the regulation states that a drug rehab must not share any patient information that would inflict or identify a person’s current or previous addiction habit. However, the regulation can be overruled in the presence of your written consent stating otherwise. Other exceptions that may override the law include court orders, medical emergencies, or treatment evaluation.
Alongside federal laws, as discussed above, every state has a set of codes that regulate and protect health and substance abuse records. These laws vary from state to state.
Know your rights
Part of the problem with anonymity in drug rehabs is ignorance among patients. It is your right to inquire about privacy policies at the recovery center before being admitted. Every patient being admitted at a drug addiction treatment center should be knowledgeable of the following rights over their personal information.
- You have the right to be informed about any of your personal information that may be shared.
- You have the right to withhold the consent of your information from being used in some ways.
- You have the right to sue or file a complaint regarding unprotected medical records and information.
- You have a right to receive a detailed report explaining why and when your doctor or other practitioners shared your information.
Are there any exclusions?
There are specific incidences that may arise, forcing the above-discussed laws to be sidelined regardless of your state or wishes. The following are circumstances that permit disclosure of your records.
If you happen to commit a crime during drug addiction treatment or harm an employee, the HIPAA law permits the drug rehab to release limited editions of your medical records and personal information to the authorities and police. The information is limited to disclose your name, last known whereabouts, home address, any threatening conditions such as depression, and the tales of the incident.
If you have a pending case in court that requires more information to shine more light on your case, the court may order disclosure of your records and information.
Should you be rushed into an Emergency Room for a medical emergency, the laws permit the practitioners at the drug rehab to release medical records that may help in saving your life.
Child abuse and neglect
If a report is issued to the authorities revealing child abuse or neglect attached to your name, the law allows programs to comply with investigations and give out essential information that may help with the case.
There you have it! When you know your confidentiality rights, you have nothing to worry about when looking to sign up for addiction treatment. Call us today at 844-639-8371.