SEARCH Learning Group is legally required to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices which describes how we may use and disclose your child’s protected health information (PHI) to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control the use of protected health information. “Protected health information” is information about your child, including demographic information, that may identify him/her and that relates to their past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition and related health-care services.
Please note, all references to “you” or “your” refer to both you and your child, if you are a parent or legal guardian of a child(ren) receiving ABA Services.
SEARCH Learning Group is required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of your PHI/ePHI (i.e., electronic PHI)
- Provide you with this notice of privacy practices to outline our legal duties regarding your PHI/ePHI
- Adhere to the terms outlined in this notice
Understanding Your PHI/ePHI
During your child’s enrollment at SEARCH Learning Group, there will be records of your child’s treatment, which contains information about your child’s diagnosis, assessment results, treatment plans, progress summaries, and payment related to your child’s treatment.
How We May Use and Disclose Your PHI/ePHI
The following categories describe several ways in which we can use and disclose your PHI/ePHI. Except for the purposes described below, we will not use or disclose your protected data—paper or electronic— without your written permission, and you can revoke such permission at any time.
- For Treatment. We may use or disclose your PHI/ePHI to provide treatment, coordinate services, and to manage your treatment and related services. This includes the coordination of management of your health care with another provider and can include people outside our center, who are involved in your medical care and need the information to provide you with medical care (i.e., SEARCH insurance administrator, outside care providers when parental consent has been provided). We will also disclose protected health information to other therapists who may be treating your child. For example, your protected health information will be shared with members of your child’s direct treatment team at SEARCH to ensure that clinicians have the necessary information to provide treatment. Treatment Records (e.g. graphs, assessment results, goals and objectives) will be reviewed on a triannual basis (or whenever edits are made) on SEARCH’s premises; some items may not be available for removal from SEARCH premises due to proprietary information.
- For Payment. We may use and disclose your PHI/ePHI for billing purposes, such as to an insurance company or your sending school district for payment of the treatment and services you received. Disclosure to an insurance company may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may require before it approves or pays for the health care services recommended for you such as determining eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking treatment plan review and reassessment.
- For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose your child’s PHI/ePHI for health care operations, to ensure that all our learners receive quality care, and to operate and manage our office. We also may share information with other entities that have a relationship with you, such as our insurance administrator and/or your insurance provider. Further, our office may use your PHI/ePHI for organizational assessment activities, professional evaluations, staff training training, business development and planning, cost management analyses, insurance claims management, and risk management activities
- Appointment Reminders. We may use and disclose your child’s PHI/ePHI to contact you, related service providers, attorneys, and/or school district professionals about an appointment with SEARCH Learning Group.
- Research. Under certain circumstances, we may present research at conferences relevant to a learner’s program. No PHI/ePHI will be disclosed during these presentations, and parent(s)/legal guardian(s) will be notified if such data will be used.
Other Allowable Uses of Your PHI/ePHI
- Business Associates. We may disclose your PHI/ePHI to our business associates that perform functions on your behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services, such as outside attorneys, related-service providers, and insurance administrators. Our business associates are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as specified in our contract.
- As Required by Law. We will disclose PHI/ePHI about you when required to do so by international, federal, state, or local law. You will be notified, if required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.
- To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. In cases where we must prevent a serious threat to the health and safety of yourself or the public, we may use and disclose your PHI/ePHI only to someone who may be able to help prevent the threat.
- Workers' Compensation. We may disclose your PHI/ePHI to workers' compensation or similar programs.
Federal and state laws may require or permit SEARCH Learning Group to disclose certain Health Information, paper or electronic, related to the following:
Public Health Risks, including:
- Prevention or control of disease, injury or disability
- Reporting child abuse or neglect
- Notifying a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease
- Notifying the appropriate government authority if we believe a learner has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
- Health Oversight Activities authorized by law, including audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure.
- Data Breach Notification of unauthorized access to or disclosure of your health information.
- Judicial and Administrative Proceedings and Disputes in case you are involved in a lawsuit or dispute, such as a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, and only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
We may disclose your PHI/ePHI when requested by a law enforcement official:
- In response to a court order, subpoena, summons, or similar process
- To identify or locate a missing person
- About your child, the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain your agreement
- About criminal conduct on our premises, and
- In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
Uses & Disclosures That Require Us to Give You an Opportunity to Object & Opt-Out
- Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your PHI/ePHI that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your healthcare or is helping to pay for your care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment.
- Disaster Relief for the purposes of coordinating your care or to notify family and friends of your child’s location or condition in a disaster. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we can practically do so.
Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Information
Although your child’s treatment record is the property of SEARCH Learning Group, this information belongs to you. You have the following rights regarding your Health Information:
- Right to an Electronic Copy of Electronic treatment records. If your child’s PHI is maintained in an electronic format (ePHI), you have the right to request the electronic copy of the record. We will make every effort to provide access to your PHI in the form or format you request, if it is readily producible in such form or format. Otherwise, your record will be provided in either our standard electronic format or a readable hard copy form. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic treatment record.
- Right to Get Notice of a Breach. You have the right to be notified of a breach of any of your child’s unsecured Protected Health Information. If the data are not rendered unreadable or unusable to unauthorized persons, it is considered unprotected.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. Also, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment
- Is not part of the Health Information kept by or for SEARCH Learning Group
- Is proprietary in nature, or
- Is accurate and complete.
- Out-of-Pocket-Payments. If you paid privately and in full and will not be utilizing health insurance for services, you have the right to ask that your PHI/ePHI not be disclosed to a health plan. This request would have to be made in writing (i.e., health plan will not be utilized for the purpose of reimbursement of services); changes to this request may be made by the parent/legal guardian at any time, but must be made in writing.
- Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this notice, and you may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time, regardless of how you agreed to receive it. You may obtain a copy of this notice on our website, www.searchaba.com. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, send your request to Company Email.
Changes to This Notice
We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice effective for Health Information we already have about you, as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice in SEARCH Learning Group center as well as on our website. The Notice will specify the effective date on the first page, in the top right-hand corner. In addition, if material changes are made to this Notice, the Notice will contain an effective date for the revisions and copies can be obtained by contacting SEARCH Learning Group’s HIPAA Compliance Officer.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with SEARCH Learning Group or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our Company, contact Company Complaint Website. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.