This Notice of Privacy
Practices is being provided to you as required by the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) as amended by the HITECH
Act. HIPAA requires the County of Oakland (County) to maintain the privacy of
your protected health information (PHI) and to provide you with this Notice
detailing the legal duties and privacy practices of the County with respect to
your PHI. This Notice describes how the County may use and disclose your PHI to
carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations, and for other
purposes that are permitted or required by law. PHI is information about you,
including demographic data, that can reasonably be used to identify you and
that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health, the
provision of health care to you or the payment for that care. Your protected
health information may be used or disclosed by the County to others outside the
County or to others within the County who are involved in your care and
treatment for purposes of providing health services.
In this notice it is
explained how the privacy of your PHI is protected, and how it will be used and
given out (“dis- closed”). The County must follow the privacy practices
described in this notice while it is in effect. This notice takes effect April
14, 2003, and will remain in effect until the County replaces or modifies it.
The County reserves the right
to change its privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time,
provided that applicable law permits such changes. The revised practices will
apply to your PHI regardless of when it was created and received. Any revised
Notice will be provided to you at your next visit and will also be posted on the
County web site at, www.oakgov.com/health.
You will be asked to sign an
acknowledgement that you received this Notice explaining how Oakland County
will use your protected health information.
Uses and Disclosures of
Protected Health Information
The following are examples of
the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information
that the County is permitted to make without your written authorization. These
examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but only describe the type of uses and
disclosures that may be made by the County.
The County must have your
written authorization to use and disclose your PHI except for the following
uses and disclosures:
To You and Your Personal
The County may disclose your
PHI to you and/or your Personal Representative. A Personal Representative is
someone who has the legal right to act for you.
The County will use and disclose
protected health information to provide, coordinate and manage your health care
and any related services provided by the County. This will include the
coordination and management of your health care and related services with third
parties that may need to have access to your protected health information. For
example, the County may disclose protected health information as necessary to
health care workers who work with the County unless prohibited by law.
If you are a recipient of
substance abuse treatment, you may need to sign an authorization for us to
disclose your PHI in order to provide you with treatment.
Protected health information
will be used, as needed to obtain payment for health-care services. For example,
this may include activities by your health insurance plans which they may need
to undertake prior approval of services, to recommend course of care, make
determinations of eligibility for coverage for insurance group benefits, and
for determination of whether services are medically necessary.
If you are a recipient of
substance abuse treatment you may need to sign an authorization for us to
disclose your PHI in order to provide payment, or you may be required to pay
for your own treatment.
Health Care Operations
The County may use or
disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the
business activities of the County. Examples of these activities include, but are
not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities,
training of medical or nursing students, training of nurse aides, licensing, marketing
and fundraising activities, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.
The County will share
protected health information with third party business associates who perform various
activities for the County. For example, information concerning your care at the
County may be disclosed to accountants, consultants, and other parties involved
in the auditing and review of the County for purposes of reimbursement for your
care. The County is also required by law to provide access to information to the
state and federal government for purposes of Medicare and Medicaid, and research
The County may also use or
disclose protected health information as necessary to provide you with information
about treatment alternatives, appointments, or other health related benefits
and services that might be of interest to you. The County may also use and
disclose protected information for other marketing activities. For example,
your name may be used to send you information about the Health Division’s
If you are a recipient of substance
abuse treatment your PHI will not be disclosed for these purposes without a
signed Authorization from you.
Required By Law
The County may use or disclose
protected health information to the extent that the use or disclosure is
required by law. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with and
limited to the extent required by law. This could include compliance with Court
Orders and other legal processes. A record of such disclosures will be kept in
your file or chart if required.
The County may use protected
health information for public health purposes, and may disclose protected
health information to public health authorities that are permitted by law to
collect and receive such information. By way of example this could include:
- Public health and safety activities, including disease and vital
statistic reporting, and Food and Drug Administration oversight for purposes
of adverse drug reaction and product recalls
- Reporting child and adult abuse, neglect or domestic violence,
unless you are a recipient of substance abuse services in which case only
child abuse may be reported
- Averting a serious threat to the health and safety of others as
required by law
The County may disclose
protected health information to researchers when an institutional review board
that has reviewed the research proposal and has established protocols to ensure
the privacy of your protected health information has approved the research.
Personal identifiers will not be disclosed in any written report or other
document or work product of
the research, unless authorized in writing by the participant /subject.
Your protected health
information may be disclosed for purposes of complying with Michigan Workers’
The County may disclose
protected health information to a health
oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations,
and inspections. Oversight agencies, which may seek this information, include
govern- mental agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit
programs, and other government regulatory programs.
Others Involved in Healthcare
Unless you object, the County
may disclose to a member of your family, relative, close friend or any other
person you identify protected health information that directly relates to that
person’s involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object
to such a disclosure, the County may disclose such information as it deems
necessary for your best interest, based upon its professional judgment. The County
may use or disclose
protected health information
to notify and/or communicate with family members, personal representatives, or
other person(s) who are responsible for your care.
The County may use and disclose
protected health information if it believes it has attempted to obtain an
Authorization from you but is unable to do so due to substantial communication
barriers and the County has determined, using professional judgment, that you
intend to agree to the use or disclosure under the circumstances.
Authorization to Disclose Your Protected
Other uses and disclosures of
your protected health information will be made only with your written
authorization unless otherwise permitted or required by law. You may instruct the
County, and give your written authorization, to disclose your PHI to another
party for any purpose. Your authorization is required to be on the County
You have the following
rights. To exercise these rights, you must make a written request on the
County’s standard form.
With certain exceptions, you
have the right to look at or receive a copy of your PHI contained in the group of
records that are used by or
for the County to make decisions about you. The County reserves the right to
charge a reasonable cost-based fee for copying and postage. If you request an
alternative format, such as a summary, the County may charge a cost-based fee
for preparing the summary. If your request for access is denied, the County
will tell you the basis for its decision and whether you have a right to
You have the right to an
accounting of certain disclosures of your PHI, such as disclosures required by
law. This accounting requirement applies to disclosures the County makes
beginning on and after April 14, 2003. If you request this accounting more than
once in a 12-month period, a fee may be charged covering the cost of responding
to these additional requests.
You have the right to request
that the County place restrictions on the way it uses or discloses your PHI for
treatment, payment or health care operations. The County is not required to
agree to these additional restrictions; but if it does, the County will abide
by them (except as needed for emergency treatment or as required by law) unless
you are notified that the County is terminating the agreement.
You have the right to request
that your PHI be amended in the set of records described above under Access. If
your request is denied, the County will provide you a written explanation. If
you disagree, you may have a statement of your disagreement placed in the
County’s records. If your request to amend the information is accepted,
reasonable efforts will be made to inform others, including individuals you
name, of the amendment.
This Notice is consistent
with standards established under 42 CFR, Part 2; 45 CFR, Parts 160 and 164; and
If you believe that your
privacy rights have been violated, you may call or write to the County at:
Oakland County Health
Division Department of Health & Human Services
1200 N Telegraph Road, Bldg.
34E, Pontiac, MI 48341 248-858-4001
The Department will not
retaliate against any person(s) who makes a complaint under this Notice.
If you believe that your
privacy rights have been violated, you have the right to file a complaint with
the federal government at:
Office of Civil Rights
Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
This Notice was published by
the County on April 11, 2003 and became effective on April 14, 2003.
Last Reviewed August 30,