Cuyahoga DD understands that personal information needs to be kept private. Protecting personal information, including protected health information (PHI), is important. We follow strict federal and state laws that require us to keep personal information confidential.
How we use personal information
When an individual receives services from us, we may use personal information for activities such as providing services, billing for services and conducting our normal agency business known as health care operations. If an individual has chosen a personal representative and has agreed to let his/her personal representative obtain personal information, we will provide the information to that personal representative. For those who have a guardian, we will provide the information to that guardian.
Examples of how we use personal information include:
We keep records of the care and services provided within our organization. For example, Support Administrators keep notes on all contacts made in coordinating and arranging for services. Our staff may share personal information while helping to develop a service plan. If our staff want to share personal information with anyone who is not employed by us, that person must give us written permission first. Some personal records, including confidential communications with a mental health professional and substance abuse records, may have additional restrictions for use and disclosure under state and federal law.
We keep records that include payment information and documentation of the services provided. Personal information may be used to obtain payment for services from Medicaid, insurance or other sources. For example, we may share personal information about the services provided to confirm an individual's eligibility for Medicaid and to obtain payment from Medicaid. We may use personal information to determine the amount and type of Medicaid services an individual needs and send this information to the proper government department.
Health care operations
We use personal information to improve the quality of care, train staff, manage costs, conduct required business duties and make plans to better serve you. For example, we may use your personal information to evaluate the quality of treatment and services provided by our staff.
Other services we provide
We may also use personal information to:
- Determine eligibility for board of DD services;
- Recommend service alternatives and other possible benefits;
- Tell a person about other service providers who may be able to help;
- Remind someone about an appointment, unless that person has told us not to do so;
- Allow us to review direct service contracts;
- Allow local, state and federal agencies to monitor services;
- Investigate incidents affecting health and safety; Report these kinds of incidents and take steps to protect health and safety;
- Allow us to prepare reports required by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; and
- Contact people receiving our services to ask for their assistance in passing levies, unless we have been notified not to make contact for these purposes.
For more information
Sharing personal information
There are limited situations when we are permitted or required to disclose personal information without signed authorization. These situations are:
- To protect victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
- To reduce or prevent a serious threat to public health and safety;
- For health oversight activities such as investigations, audits and inspections;
- For lawsuits and similar proceedings;
- For public health purposes, such as reporting communicable diseases, work-related illnesses or other diseases and injuries, as permitted by law; reporting births and deaths and reporting reactions to drugs and problems with medical devices;
- When required by law;
- When requested by law enforcement, as required by law or court order;
- To coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors;
- For organ and tissue donation;
- For workers' compensation or other similar programs, if an individual is injured at work and is covered by workers' compensation or other similar programs;
- For specialized government functions, such as intelligence and national security.
All other uses and disclosures not described in this notice require signed authorization. A person may revoke authorization at any time with a written statement.
Our privacy responsibilities
Cuyahoga DD is required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of each individual's personal information;
- Provide this notice that describes the ways we may use and share personal information;
- Follow the terms of the notice currently in effect.
We reserve the right to make changes to this notice at any time and make the new privacy practices effective for all information we maintain. Current notices will be posted in our facilities and on this website. You may also request a copy of any notice from our Privacy Officer.
People we serve have the right to:
- Request restrictions on how we use and share personal information. We will consider all requests for restrictions carefully but are not required to agree to any restriction.*
- Request that we use a specific telephone number or address to communicate.
- Inspect and copy personal information, including service, medical and billing records. Fees may apply.*
- Request corrections or additions to personal information. The person must give the reasons for wanting the change.*
- Request an accounting of certain disclosures of personal information we have made. That request must state the period of time desired for the accounting, which must be within the six years prior to the request. The first accounting is free, but a fee will apply if more than one request is made in a 12-month period.*
- Request a paper copy of this notice even if the person has agreed to receive it electronically.
*Requests marked with a star (*) must be made in writing. Contact the Cuyahoga DD Privacy Officer for the appropriate form for your request.
This notice describes the privacy practices of Cuyahoga DD. This notice also describes the privacy practices of persons or entities that have signed a contract with us, which are acting as business associates and which have promised to follow the same rules of confidentiality. This includes all services and supports provided by us as well as our employees and volunteers. To find out about the privacy practices of service providers who are not employed by Cuyahoga DD and who are not business associates, please contact them directly.
For more information about privacy rights or concerns that privacy rights have been violated or disagreement with a decision that we have made about access to personal information, contact:
- The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20201 or call 1 (877) 696-6775, or
- The Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Ave. SW, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, DC 20201 or call OCR's hotline-voice at 1 (800) 368-1019, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cuyahoga DD will investigate all complaints and will not retaliate against anyone filing a complaint.