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HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.
For individuals who receive services through Caracole, this notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.

Your Rights

Your Choices

If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
  • Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
  • Share information in a disaster relief situation
  • Include your information in a hospital directory
  • Contact you for fundraising efforts
If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
  • Marketing purposes
  • Sale of your information
  • Most sharing of clinical or psychotherapy notes

Our Uses and Disclosures

We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.
  • Treatment and health services: We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
  • To run our organization: We can use and share your health information to provide Caracole services, analyze those services, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
  • To pay for your services: We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities such as our government grant funders.
  • Help with public health and safety issues:
    • Preventing disease
    • Helping with product recalls
    • Reporting adverse reactions to medications
    • Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
    • Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety
  • Do research: We can use or share your information for health research.
  • Comply with the law: We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
  • Respond to organ and tissue donation requests: We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
  • Work with a medical examiner or funeral director: We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
  • Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests: We can use or share health information about you:
    • For workers’ compensation claims
    • For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
    • With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
    • For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services
  • Respond to lawsuits and legal actions: We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
Special conditions on disclosure of medical information
Ohio law and federal law require your signed authorization or a court order signed by a judge to release the following health information:
  • Records containing HIV, AIDS or AIDS related condition health information;
  • Records containing mental health treatment information; and
  • Records containing substance use disorder health information.

Our Responsibilities

We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
  • We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of
  • We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
  • We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
  • For more information see: hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.

HMIS (Homeless Management Information System)

Caracole Housing services participate in the Continuum of Care to End Homelessness Management Information System through Strategies to End Homelessness. Information within this system is carefully protected and governed by rules of consent. Information on client privacy within the HMIS system can be found here: strategiestoendhomelessness.org/wp-content/uploads/hmis-privacy-notice-and-client-consent-form-eff-05172019.pdf

Changes to the Terms of This Notice

We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our website.

Caracole, Inc. Privacy Officer
4138 Hamilton Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45223

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