Confidentiality

The following article has been excerpted from our member newsletters and meets HIPAA regulations. It is included here to inform you of our policies on confidentiality.

At Beacon Health options, we are very serious about maintaining the confidentiality of your personal information. This article explains our policies regarding member confidentiality.

Routine Consent Form
In order to do our job, certain personal information is exchanged between your health plan, Beacon, practitioners and providers, and governmental or regulatory agencies. The reasons for this exchange include: treatment and utilization review, coordination of care with your PCP and other behavioral health providers, quality assessment and measurement, accreditation, billing/claims processing, and governmental oversight reviews of our operation. When you enrolled in your health plan, you were asked to sign a routine consent form; your signature on that form authorized your health plan and Beacon Health Strategies to release your information for these limited activities of treatment, payment and health care operations. We may also share your health information, without your approval, in an emergency, when required by law.

Your Right to Approve Release of Information
In the rare event that Beacon needs to release information for any purpose not listed above, Beacon or your provider would specifically ask for your permission to do so. You have the right to authorize or refuse to have your information released.

If You are Unable to Give Consent
If you are unable to give consent for any reason, Beacon or your provider must obtain consent from your parent, legal guardian or designated legal representative before releasing the information.

Access to Your Records
Beacon does not maintain treatment records. A member who wishes to review his/her own medical record should contact his/her provider, who will arrange a time and place for the review. Members may also ask Beacon’s Clinical Department to coordinate a record review through the provider on his/her behalf.

Per federal law, you are able to request the information that Beacon Health Strategies has in our case management system. Most of the information is the same information that providers have, though we also have claims information and documentation of any communication with Beacon.

In addition, you have other rights:

  • Right to view and receive your protected health information
  • Right to amend your records
  • Right to request additional restrictions on your protected health information
  • Right to receive an accounting of disclosures
  • Right to receive confidential communications

Protection of Privacy in All Settings
Beacon staff follow all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations with respect to maintaining confidentiality. We enforce strict policies regarding confidentiality, not only because our employees have access to confidential information, but to ensure your privacy in all settings. Some of the ways in which we work to protect your confidentiality are:

  • All personal information is kept confidential by Beacon staff. Only those with a “need to know” are allowed access to personal information. Each Beacon employee has a code that allows him or her access to only the information they need to know to perform their job function.
  • Policy and Procedure Manuals issued to providers inform them of our confidentiality policies, and providers’ offices are reviewed according to these policies to ensure that they keep personal information confidential;
  • Periodic newsletters remind providers of confidentiality requirements;
  • All providers sign participation agreements in which they agree to maintain patient confidentiality

Measurement Data
To help ensure the quality of our programs, we gather data about services provided to our members through satisfaction surveys, chart reviews and other sources. We take many steps to protect your confidentiality in all such activities; in fact, individual names or other identifiers are never reported and data are always summarized.

Policy on Information for Employers
It is our policy to never provide any information that identifies a member to any employer or other outside organization. Beacon has never been asked to provide patient information or data to employers.

We reserve the right to change this policy as federal, state and local laws permit.